Nurse leaders require real-time data to effectively implement clinical interventions and practice changes that improve unit-level patient care, according to a recent study.
“A nurse leader’s organizational role is to oversee complex, inpatient, ambulatory, and interventional patient care environments and use data to make decisions about performance management initiatives, monitor unit level clinical patient outcomes, and translate organizational performance goals and quality improvement to frontline staff,” wrote Ann M. Mazzella-Ebstein, PhD, RN, of Memorial Sloan Kettering, and colleagues. “Within data-driven organizations, nurse leaders are expected to leverage available information to manage unit-level operations and transform care. However, available report data may be lacking.”
Mazzella-Ebstein and colleagues recently conducted a study to evaluate the perceptions and experiences of oncology nurse leaders about available organizational data reports. They recruited 12 unit-level nurse leaders and collected data using semi-structured interviews.
Based on these interviews, the researchers found consistent themes, including lack of accurate, useful and meaningful data, specifically related to patient care.
Among the accessibility challenges discussed, nurse leaders highlighted frustrating reporting differences such as differing reports from inpatient units compared with critical care units. Inpatient unit nurse leaders found reports focused on equipment, regulatory compliance, and staff training. Nurse leaders in critical care units reported that data do not provide information relevant to the uniqueness of that unit.
“Nurse leaders felt that there were no data reports that specifically reflected their patient population and, as a consequence, they resort to manually filtering current reports to obtain relevant unit-level information,” the researchers wrote.
The interviews revealed that nurse leaders also question the wider applicability of many data reports, and thought that many reports did not provide meaningful data.
Among the suggestions for improvements were interventions to address report variances.
“The nurse leaders reported that it is advantageous for nursing leaders who are experienced with using reports to share information with other leaders at future workshops or meetings,” the researchers wrote.
Nurse leaders also expressed a need for data for “supporting the emotional well-being of staff, nursing workload, and efficiency.”
“Nurse leaders emphasized that their insight into the development of customizable reports is crucial for obtaining meaningful data relevant to the varied unit-level healthcare setting,” the researchers wrote. “Reports targeting unit-level outcomes would provide meaningful data to facilitate clinical improvement where patient care is provided.”