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AtStaff Introduces a New, Outcomes-Based Patient Acuity System That Integrates Nursing...
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AtStaff Introduces a New, Outcomes-Based Patient Acuity System That Integrates Nursing Outcomes Classification (NOC) AtStaff's Chief Nursing Executive to Present Company's New Acuity Solution Today at National Nursing Informatics and Classification Conference IOWA CITY, Iowa--(Business Wire)-- Sharon Eck Birmingham, DNSc, RN, AtStaff's Chief Nursing Executive and a national leader in evidence-based, outcomes-driven nurse staffing, will outline today, in a presentation at a national nursing informatics conference sponsored by the University of Iowa's College of Nursing, how healthcare organizations can significantly improve patient care by integrating an outcomes-approach to patient acuity measurement. In her presentation, "Outcomes-Driven Acuity Measurement Using Nursing Outcomes Classification," to be delivered this afternoon at the 8th Institute of Nursing Informatics & Classification, Birmingham will reveal how AtStaff's patient acuity solution has adopted Nursing Outcomes Classification (NOC) to automate outcomes-driven acuity measurement and drive patients to positive clinical results. Developed at the University of Iowa's College of Nursing, NOC is a comprehensive, standardized language of patient/client outcomes developed to evaluate the effects of nursing interventions. The outcomes taxonomy provides an easy to use, clinically relevant language that has been proven for more than 16 years of scientific testing and clinical implementation. Each patient outcome includes a list of indicators to evaluate a patient's status in relation to the outcome, measured on a five-point Likert scale. The outcomes are developed for use across the continuum of care, and may be used to follow patients throughout a hospitalization or over an extended period of time. "Incorporating NOC within AtStaff's ClairVia(R) Outcomes-Driven Patient Acuity * is a huge breakthrough in the world of patient acuity in several important ways," says Birmingham, who has nearly 25 years of nursing leadership experience, and was involved in the initial classification discussions in the mid-1980s. "First and foremost, it's an acuity solution that focuses directly on each patient's condition and outcomes progress, not on caregiver activity. It precisely calculates workload for staffing levels and skill mix based on patient-specific outcomes relevant to the clinical population, and guiding each patient toward expected outcomes and length of stay. "Secondly, because it's based on NOC, it's based on the industry-proven, patient outcomes taxonomy that supports and complements established, evidence-based standards of care. And rather than being a separate system that takes time and attention away from patient care, it leverages the patient assessments that are already part of professional nursing practice and patient documentation. "Also," Birmingham adds, "with ClairVia Patient Acuity, patient outcomes assessments are automated directly from clinical documentation systems via HL7 data connectivity. For healthcare organizations not currently using an EMR, the software provides a direct-entry screen. An audit process for inter-rater reliability and staffing validation is built into the automation for ongoing evaluation; this process replaces historically labor intensive paper processes." This year alone, AtStaff has started 12 ClairVia Patient Acuity implementation projects. Interest is mounting, Birmingham reports, because of a heightened national focus on patient safety, and increasing state staffing legislation requiring valid acuity methodologies and direct caregiver involvement in system selection and implementation. ClairVia Patient Acuity will continue to capture the attention of nursing leaders because it represents "a dramatic departure from traditional acuity offerings that primarily track caregiver activities and measure tasks performed," says Michael Warner, AtStaff's co-founder and Chief Science Officer. "Traditional acuity systems are famous for not surviving," Warner states. "Sooner or later, confidence among nursing is lost because of a lack of validity, or because they require too much time away from patient care. Confidence among both nursing and financial leaders may also be lost because 'acuity creep' erodes both reliability and validity. But by embedding patient acuity directly in the documentation of nursing practice -- through patient outcomes assessments -- ClairVia Outcomes-Driven Patient Acuity avoids these pitfalls." The most important and fundamental benefit of ClairVia Patient Acuity, emphasizes Beth Pickard, AtStaff's President & Chief Executive Officer, is that it addresses the overriding goal in healthcare: achieving the best possible clinical outcome for each patient. "Our acuity solution enables caregivers to actively track and drive each patient in real time along each improved, outcome phase of care -- from the point of admission and all the way to discharge," Pickard says. "This is essential in consistently achieving positive clinical results." Moreover, she says, ClairVia Patient Acuity provides the means for ongoing staffing effectiveness analysis and process improvement -- which are vitally important to continually improve patient care quality. "With ClairVia Patient Acuity, you have documented proof where and why a patient deviates from the desired plan of care, and can pinpoint the role of staffing in the deviation. Comparisons may be made for similar patient groups across organizations to see whether patient progress differs, and studies can identify variables and best practices for optimal patient safety and progress toward the next level of wellness." About the Institute on Nursing Informatics & Classification The 8th Institute on Nursing Informatics & Classification will be held June 9-11, 2008 at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. The conference provides an annual forum on advances in nursing informatics and classification. Particular emphasis is placed on the actual use of standardized language in clinical and educational settings. More information can be obtained at http://www.nursing.uiowa.edu/excellence/nursing_knowledge/clinical_ effectiveness/conferences.htm (Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.) About Sharon Eck Birmingham, DNSc, RN Over Sharon Eck Birmingham's career of nearly 25 years, she has held positions as nurse manager, director, chief nurse and adjunct faculty in large academic medical centers. Birmingham's primary clinical and administrative expertise has been in maternal child health in both acute and ambulatory settings, with a focus on access to and care for underserved women and their families. She has served on the steering committee for Magnet Designation in two academic medical centers. Birmingham's consultation experience includes: staffing and scheduling, clinical quality and fiscal outcomes, unit-based research implementation, CNO coaching and Magnet consultation. She obtained her bachelor's degree in Nursing and master's degree in Nursing Administration from The University of Iowa. She obtained her doctoral degree from Yale University with an emphasis on uses of data in healthcare decision-making. Birmingham conducted her doctoral dissertation on "The Effect of Nurse Staffing on Clinical, Organizational and Financial Outcomes." This research won the Yale School of Nursing Dissertation Prize. She is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at The University of North Carolina, School of Nursing in Healthcare Systems. About AtStaff and ClairVia(R) Healthcare management software systems from AtStaff serve more than 1,200 healthcare organizations, medical facilities, nursing departments and group practices. The company's set of ClairVia(R) demand management solutions for the hospital enterprise marketplace improves quality of care, patient safety and patient throughput by ensuring that patients receive the exact, clinically appropriate level and amount of staffing care from admission to discharge. AtStaff markets five ClairVia solutions: -- ClairVia Demand Manager -- ClairVia Outcomes-Driven Patient Acuity -- ClairVia Caregiver Assignment -- ClairVia eWork -- ClairVia Staff Manager More information on AtStaff and its ClairVia solutions is available at www.atstaff.com. * Patent Pending AtStaff, Inc. Stephen R. Werk, Director of Marketing 919-382-8282, ext. 205 firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright Business Wire 2008