UNYOC Professional Development Blog Post – Tami Hartzell

(The following is a blog post from Tami Hartzell, MLS, one of the 2019 winners of the UNYOC Professional Development award).

Thanks to UNYOC, and the UNYOC/MLA Professional Development Grant for allowing me to attend “Transforming Healthcare Through Evidence-based Practice, the National Summit”.  The Summit was presented by the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare and was held in Columbus, Ohio on November 20-22, 2019.

Left to right: Susan Rodems, MS, RN CNS; Kathleen Stevens, RN, EdD, ANEF, FAAN; Tami Hartzell, MLS, and Donna Tydings, DNP, RN, CNS-BC, NEA-BC.

I was able to deliver a podium presentation along with two nurse colleagues from our organization on the use of OneNote as a method to support evidence-based practice reviews (EBPRs).  EBPRs are the process that Rochester General uses to ensure our nursing standards are evidence-based.  We had several VA hospitals express an interest in our process, and we have shared our OneNote tool with them.

The Clinical Pre-Summit Conference, and the presentations during the event centered on building an EBP infrastructure.  My biggest takeaway:  if you don’t have leadership buy-in at the top level in your organization, EBP will have a much more difficult time taking hold.  In addition to building a cadre of staff mentors, if you are lucky enough to have Clinical Nurses Specialists, make sure you leverage them as a driving force too.  Including EBP in nursing residency programs and new employee orientation will also be helpful.  Above all, make sure your organization’s policies, procedures and protocols are evidence-based!

Victor Montori, MD, a professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, was the keynote speaker on Thursday.  He highlighted our failure to provide thoughtful patient-sensitive care, and his insights gave the audience pause to consider how to move from evidence-BASED care to evidence-based CARE.  Dr. Montori has many YouTube videos on shared decision making if you are interested.  He is a good speaker, and his points are very relevant.

The opioid crisis was a topic that was at the forefront of many presentations, and the Dayton Veterans Administration Medical Center shared their journey in a plenary session.  They have been able to decrease their opioid deaths by putting many interventions into play and have overcome a physical environment that is not conducive to aiding an opioid dependent client.  I couldn’t help but applaud their transparency.

EBP Trailblazers were honored, and it was a pleasure to mingle with some of my personal heroes: Laura Cullen, Marita Titler, Bernadette Melnyk, Sharon Tucker and Kathleen Stevens to name a few.

There was a graphic artist onsite during the three days of the summit, and he did a great job of capturing the essence of several of the sessions.  Feel free to poke around the Graphic Recordings. You will see many of the sessions are highlighted in this blog.

Friday’s keynote was given by Gale Adcock, a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives.  Gale shared methods that might be helpful when presenting evidence that can be used to influence policy.  Gale also shared tips for approaching legislators in a respectful and non-threatening manner.  While her presentation was geared towards the nursing profession, I came away with many tips that will be useful when seeking assistance from my legislators.

Also on Friday, Judy Davidson presented her findings on nurse suicide.  Her article will be published in January 2020 and the findings show that nurses in the San Diego area were significantly more likely to take their own lives than the general population. There is hardly any data on nurse suicide, so Judy’s work is very welcome at a time when Code Lavender is really starting to take hold.

Judy’s presentation was an excellent segue into the Endnote session, Combating Clinician Burnout to Improve Healthcare Quality & Safety.  This presentation was given by Bernadette Melnyk and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing Bern speak, you know she approaches all problems by looking at the evidence before proposing interventions, and she is passionate about the quadruple aim and improving provider well-being.  While “beware the chair” continues to be a high priority for Bern, her latest concern involves 12 hour shifts.  Evidence supports the act that 8 hour shifts are much better for patient safety as well as clinician well-being, and yet, as Bern so aptly points out, culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We have a long way to go before we see a reduction in 12 hour shifts.

To recap, I absorbed new knowledge, shared what I knew, and exchanged ideas with people who are passionate about EBP.  Thanks UNYOC for making this happen!