A Letter from the Chief Nursing Officer
Within Crozer-Keystone, we realize that nurses are the heart of our organization. They are at the bedside, day in and day out. They serve as the eyes and ears of our system. They see, hear and instinctively feel the patient’s needs, and in response, orchestrate the interdisciplinary team’s provision of care.
Our nurses’ wisdom at the bedside allows us to provide excellent care to our patients. This is the compass that guides our leadership and inspires us to respect the vital role our nurses play in patient outcomes. This, in turn, inspires our nurses to provide exceptional care, always going the extra mile for our patients, just as they would for a loved one.
I would like to share a wonderful example of this. Not long ago, the grandfather of a nurse was admitted to one of our hospitals. The grandfather was nearing the end of his life and the entire family was very involved with his care. One night, all of the family members had gone home to get some rest, our nurse included. It soon became obvious that the grandfather’s dying moments were at hand. Quietly and without being asked, a fellow nurse slipped into the grandfather’s room, sat by his side and held his hand as he passed.
Now, I know that stories such as this are not unique. I know that our nurses have always looked out for each other. And I know that actions such as this happened long before we put official-sounding care models in place and began integrating our policies. But still…something has changed in recent years in our health system. Something positive and something powerful.
In 2010, we continued to move toward our goals. Our Executive Nurse Practice Council, which is comprised of the leaders of each hospital’s Nurse Practice Council, continues the gargantuan task of merging our nursing standards of care at all hospitals and bringing them into one evidence-based standard of care system wide. This effort has involved nurses from each of our hospitals who by virtue of their involvement and interest have become informal leaders in the clinical arena. They have done a tremendous job of reaching across the unique cultures of each hospital to ensure that our patients receive consistent, high-quality care.
Our Quality Councils are striving not just to identify opportunities to improve care, but to keep pushing until they achieve the outcomes they desire. And our Education Councils are developing more and more ways to efficiently provide education for our patients throughout their time with us so they are not inundated with information at the end of their hospital stay.
Over the past five years, we’ve created many opportunities for nurses to have a strong voice in the way our system provides care, and nurses are now involved in all of our major hospital committees such as Critical Care, Ethics and Infection Control. Their opinions and ideas are highly valued, as they should be, because they are the ones who are with the patients 24/7.
Our nurses are increasingly being recognized not only inside our walls but outside them as well. In October 2010, Crozer-Chester Medical Center’s Kathleen Evans, RN, was honored with a Nightingale Award. These prestigious awards are given to only six Pennsylvania nurses each year and truly represent the “best of the best” in our Commonwealth.
As part of the greater team, our nurses are also helping our hospitals achieve national recognition excellent clinical care. Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Delaware County Memorial Hospital and Taylor Hospital each earned disease-specific certification in hip and knee replacement surgery by The Joint Commission. Crozer-Chester and Delaware Country Memorial were also presented with the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award for Excellence in Stroke Care. And for the third year in a row, Delaware County Memorial’s Home Care department was selected as one of the “HomeCareElite™,” the annual compilation of the most successful home health care providers in the U.S.
I am incredibly proud of the achievements our nurses have made and continue to make. Together they are making a lasting impact on our patients and our hospitals. I look forward to another year of progress as we continue on our Journey to Nursing Excellence and Magnet Designation.
Robert Haffey, MBA, M.S.N., R.N.
Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer