Partnering with Nursing Procedure Vendors: A Necessity in Contemporary Healthcare

Monday, 22 July 2013: 1:50 PM

Michele Wagner, MSN, RN, CNRN
Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA

Quality healthcare requires translation of best evidence into nursing. Implementing and sustaining evidence-based practice changes requires use of a number of strategies, often including development of evidence-based procedures. Translation into practice is resource intensive and requires vigilance as nursing science and regulatory standards evolve. Hospitals struggle to keep pace. Vendors market electronic evidence-based nursing skills and procedures to fill this gap. Many hospitals partner with these vendors yet nurses struggle when converting from existing procedures to these products. Criteria for outsourcing procedures typically include economics, risk management, quality, and strategic resource planning. Sustainable funding for outsourced procedures requires demonstration of a return on investment (ROI). Calculating ROI includes the hard, measurable costs of purchasing and implementing the product and the soft costs such as the impact on the nurses’ time. Product features and implementation strategies impact ROI. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of evidence to guide vendor selection and product implementation, calculation of ROI and to ensure ongoing product quality. Consequently, nurses must rely on vendor case reports and consultation with peers for this information. This presentation describes a systematic process used to address these urgent needs. A product trial of two vendors included task-oriented and user-centered evaluations. Systematic planning guided implementation. Demonstration of positive ROI is critical, yet the first two years require considerable investments. Evaluation by surveying Magnet hospitals (n=395) gleaned additional information regarding the benefits, limitations, necessity for outsourcing procedures and methods of calculating ROI. A usage decrease of 80% shows ongoing need for reinfusion. Over time, the systematic processes and ongoing partnership with the vendor saves clinical nurse specialists and staff nurses’ time associated with procedure upkeep, thereby, affording time for EBP initiatives, education, sharing clinical expertise and research projects. This systematic process, lessons learned, ROI and direction for future developments will be shared.