Overcoming challenges in nursing is essential to overcoming challenges in the healthcare system as a whole, according to a new workshop summary report released Wednesday by the Institute of Medicine.
In October 2009, the Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles hosted the first of three public forums of the Initiative on the Future of Nursing, a collaborative effort between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and IOM. This forum focused on quality and safety, technology, and interdisciplinary collaboration in acute care; and speakers suggested new strategies to allow nurses to provide higher quality care.
Most nurses work in hospitals or other acute care settings, where they are the patients' primary, professional caregivers and the individuals most likely to intercept medical errors, the summary said. However, since hospital systems and acute care settings are often "complex and chaotic," many nurses spend unnecessary time hunting for supplies, filling out paperwork, and coordinating staff time and patient care—reducing the time they are able to spend with patients and delivering care.
While a number of important points emerged at the forum, several resonated with panel members:
The IOM committee, which is chaired by University of Miami President Donna Shalala, will take the workshop findings and develop a set of recommendations that are expected to be released this fall.