The Unit Practice Council (UPC) Functionality Tool: An Instrument for Measuring UPC Functionality at the Point-of-Care

Tuesday, 13 July 2010: 2:25 PM

Beverly Fray, BA, RN, MSN, APRN-BC
Nursing Administration - Center for Nursing Excellence, Jackson Health System, Miami, FL

Learning Objective 1: identify levels of functionality measured by this tool.

Learning Objective 2: verbalize the purpose of the UPC Functionality Tool.

Purpose: Current measurement tools do not measure the functionality of Unit Practice Councils (UPCs).  A UPC is the unit-based aspect of shared governance. Its members comprise staff nurses, unit secretaries, LPNs and unlicensed personnel. Our organization, with over 90 Unit Practice Councils (UPCs), faced a challenge to objectively evaluate the functionality of the UPCs, hence the creation of this tool.  The target audience for this presentation is any organization on the Magnet journey with UPCs.
Methods: Twenty-one (21) common characteristics of successful UPCs in the System were identified. Consequently, a self-administered survey encompassing all the 21 elements was created and sent as a link in an e-mail from Survey Monkey. The more yes answers, the higher the functionality rating. The rating process was three-tiered. First the UPCs rated themselves according to the 21 elements. Second, the UPC Coordinator with the Center for Nursing Excellence rated the same UPCs and achieved a 78% concurrence rate. Third, the UPCs which did not respond to the survey were rated by the Center for Nursing Excellence and the UPC Coordinator.
Results: UPC rating yielded the following results: 38% (n=38) were rated as high functioning; 22% (n=21) were rated as middle functioning and 40% (n=35) were rated as low functioning.
Conclusion: Knowing objectively how many UPCs fell into each category was useful. Nurse managers/managers who had doubts about prior UPC Coordinator assessments of UPCs tended to believe the results yielded by the tool. The tool satisfied the expectations of the grant.  The Center for Nursing Excellence was able to plan interventions based on the results. The UPC Coordinator will periodically repeat the functionality survey, using the same method. Publication and sharing methods are a part of future plans to add to the body of literature.