Lehigh Valley Nursing Innovation Unit Implements Measures Intended to Improve Quality of Life for Patients and Clinicians

May 14, 2024
New pilot programs, including efforts to streamline hospital operations and get patients out of the hospital quicker and more safely, are showing results.

Lehigh Valley Health Network’s (LVHN) nursing innovation unit program has been implementing staff-generated ideas that make everyday life easier for patients and clinicians. LVHN’s website has the news.

One such innovation came because nurses on Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest’s 6C medical-surgical unit needed to “re-enter their 16-digit passcode over and over throughout a shift,” anytime a patient rang their call bell. The team implemented “Tap and Lock,” which made it so nurses only need to sign in one time per 12-hour shift with a badge reader.

Across LVHN’s three nursing innovation units, “more than 41 pilot projects have been completed on these units with another 50 projects underway.” Another of the projects is the “implementation of a completely new preceptor program designed to provide structured support and guidance to nurses during their critical transition period” from student nurse to practicing professional. Nurses are already emerging from the new preceptor program, which includes a structured progression upon entering the workforce from “two patients to a full load under the watchful guidance of [a] preceptor.”

Elsewhere, the LVH-Pocono cardiovascular telemetry unit team undertook several projects to transform the unit. For one, the supply closets were redesigned so that staff did not have to make more trips than necessary from closet to closet. Since the beginning of the program, “the cardiovascular telemetry unit has completed the most projects out of all three nursing innovation units.”

There is also a mobility project being tested, requiring patients “to move three times a day to maintain their physical function” when in the hospital. There has been a decrease in length of stay as a result, and more patients are being discharged to their home rather than a nursing facility.

About the Author

Matt MacKenzie | Associate Editor

Matt is Associate Editor for Healthcare Purchasing News.