The Pulse | Monday, October 15, 2018
Standing by Your Chosen Resource
From SGNA Headquarters, featuring Susan Bocian clinical manager of operations at Advocate Trinity Hospital, in Chicago.
Infection prevention is at the core of any good healthcare practice, especially when it comes to gastroenterology (GI) labs. Patients undergoing procedures like colonoscopies and Esophagogastroduodenoscopies (EGDs) want to trust that their well-being is in good hands and the tools being used are thoroughly reprocessed, posing no risk to their health. When it comes to identifying the proper procedures for infection prevention, a number of standards are available for GI units to follow. Whether these standards come from SGNA, AAMI, the FDA, the CDC or other reputable resources, one thing holds true: GI units, and their nurse managers in particular, must be confident in their chosen resources.
In fact, confidence is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to standing by your chosen resource. We spoke with Susan Bocian, clinical manager of operations at Advocate Trinity Hospital, in Chicago, to gather a few lessons on why it’s important to know your resources inside and out and what that entails.
Do Your Research on Their Research
“Hospitals may use different equipment or different detergents, but you have to ensure the standards for scope reprocessing are still met. And you're accountable for that, so you need a resource to go to,” Bocian says. She notes that the quality of the resource is key, and transparency into the references behind the resource plays a significant factor. When Bocian presents her unit’s policies and procedures to a reviewing committee each year, she is ready to defend those documents. “You have to be certain that who you're quoting is reputable and does the necessary research. Having references attached to the source you're going to quote is important because you want to review the quality of those references,” she says, also noting that the references can indicate whether or not the resource uses the latest information available.
“Whichever resource you’ve chosen, you have to be aware of the process it takes to develop these documents,” Bocian says, noting that she also makes sure her staff knows what it takes for a standard to become finalized. Essentially, she expects herself (and her team) to be able to speak to the resource as confidently as someone from the organization itself can. “I have to know which resources I feel comfortable with, how the document was created and that I’m confident this is the current standard in my specialty,” Bocian says. “I may change practice based on this standard, so I have to know it’s evidence-based practice to change that process in the GI lab.”
Align with Your Hospital’s Goals
As clinical manager of her department, it’s equally important for Bocian to ensure the resources she has chosen align with the overall hospital’s mission and goals. “They have to align, otherwise it's not going to be an effective match,” she notes. “You have to do some investigation and ask yourself if the organization you're using as a resource is consistent with your hospital and unit department goals.” When Bocian was doing her research, she found that SGNA and its strategic plan aligned with her hospital’s goals, which center around safety, quality and service. “They're the expert in my discipline and it was a good match for me. That's how I made my decision,” she recalls.
Use Your Resource to Defend Your Budget
Having a chosen resource affects more than just clinical practice, too. Bocian says your resource can be a means of justifying budget and staffing choices. “I have to defend why I want the staffing I want in my department,” she explains. When developing her unit’s budget, Bocian will look at a sedation standard, for example, and align her budget to the number of staff members that standard calls for. “You can justify your budget by utilizing these standards,” she says. Of course, this can only take place if you’re confident in the standard from the start and have done your research on its credibility. Again, as Bocian emphasizes, it comes down to having access to the standard’s references and being able to do your own research on that standard’s research.
You Can’t Google Everything
In an age of information overload, where it seems like anything can be searched online, Bocian notes that’s not the case when it comes to health care – and all the more reason to stand behind a chosen resource. “You can go to a random website and get any information you want, but is it reputable? Is it stating current practice?” Bocian asks. “That's what you have to look at, and as a manager, my job is to make sure I’m utilizing current practice, looking at the current research and making sure my practice in the department is reflecting that.”
In the GI field, there are a number of standards and resources to choose from when it comes to infection prevention. For new nurse managers or even staff, this can seem overwhelming. However, with thorough and thoughtful research, you can move forward confidently with the standard that best fits your organization’s practices and needs.