Saturday, September 12, 2015

How to optimize patient care? You can't do it without nurses

The 3rd International Nursing Conference of Al Noor concluded successfully yesterday at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort.

The one-day conference, which was held in collaboration with the University of Bradford, saw the attendance of more than 550 nursing professionals including, Directors of Nursing, Midwives, Registered and Specialized Nurses, Nursing Assistants, Practical Nurses, Vocational Nurses and Nursing students.

Following the success of the previous two conferences and the overwhelming feedback from the attendees, a third edition was launched this year with the theme ‘Optimizing Patient Care’. The conference delivered 5 sessions during which 12 lectures were presented by various notable speakers from across the UAE and from abroad.

Rajaa Hammoud, Chief Nursing Officer of Al Noor Hospitals Group said in her opening remarks to the attendees: "Our profession is a career of compassion and it is important that we help our nurses deliver and maintain optimal level of care. The recipe is to utilise their skills wisely, compensate them fairly, empower them and address their concerns. The ingredients are to have enough qualified nurses and to encourage and secure innovation and change. It is also important to ensure that they have access to continuing education in order to maintain their professional competence in their practice."

Following the opening remarks, Hammoud gave a presentation titled ‘Unlocking the Power of Nursing Innovation’. In her presentation she spoke about how healthcare organizations must pave the way for nurses to showcase their innovation by empowering them and promoting a culture that values their ideas and observations. Hammoud stressed on the fact that nurses need to be given the opportunity to voice their ideas and suggestions since they are at the forefront in caring for patients.

Speakers from the University of Bradford, in the United Kingdom, spoke about how it is important for nurses to possess clinical leadership, evidence based knowledge and clinical competence in order to practice in a high quality and safe environment through four different presentations.

One of the presentations given by the University of Bradford titled ‘Detecting Early Deterioration of Acutely Ill Adult Patients in Hospital’ highlighted how recognising deterioration in patients is vital in order to act quickly and appropriately to benefit the patient. It is therefore important to promote the nursing role in detecting and effectively communicating deterioration in patients to prevent serious consequences.

"Our aim as educators is to produce high quality, thinking, safe practitioners who are inspirational leaders that will lead Health Care Organizations into the future" said Andrea Cassidy, Senior Lecturer/Programme Director, Faculty of Health Studies, University of Bradford.

Professor Jane Griffiths from the Dubai Health Authority spoke about the right process of implementing an electronic medical record system in a healthcare organization and highlighted how it is essential that all staff members recognize that this is not solely an IT project, instead, the clinical and operational staff must fully "own" the process. The most important aspect of these implementations is the process re-engineering component. Professor Griffiths also stressed on the fact that the IT solution must only be implemented when evidence based policies, procedures, guidelines and pathways that meet international standards are fully in place.

Helen Spyt, Operating Theatre Charge Nurse, Sheikh Khalifa General Hospital, Umm Al Quwain, spoke about identifying and understanding the deteriorating elderly patient with the view to supporting and delivering optimal outcomes. During her presentation she spoke about the importance of knowing the patient, identifying changes early, documenting and communicating them and involving patients and their respective relatives and care givers.

Elizabeth Makaulay Sojka, Director of Nursing at Al Noor Hospital Al Ain Branch gave a lecture during the one-day conference on leadership and change. During her presentation Sojka spoke about the dramatic revolution in nursing practice from nurses with clipboards who manually checked statistics to technology monitoring patient conditions that helps in making decisions at bedside.

Today, nursing leaders have to deal with people from multiple generations therefore they need to identify ways to understand the differences in attitudes, values and behaviors of each of the generational groups in order to exploit these differences, which will in turn enhance the work of the entire team.  –End-

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