CNO’s Discuss Healthcare Reform

The Health Information Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) Dallas-Fort Worth chapter recently hosted an event at Embassy Suites in Grapevine, TX on April 5, 2013.  The event received rave reviews from its attendees, mostly because of the quality of speakers at the event.  Healthcare reform was discussed in detail by Mary Stowe, VP and CNO at Children’s Medical Center Dallas and Claudia Wilder,  VP and CNO at Baylor University Medical Center.  Their biographies from the DFW HIMSS Event promotional piece are below:

    • Mary Stowe, MS, RN, NEA-BC

Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer – Children’s Medical Center Dallas

Mary has served as the VP/CNO at Children’s since June of 2006.  Children’s is a 595 bed pediatric hospital with two campuses, which received Magnet Accreditation in January of 2010. Prior to Children’s, Mary has held a variety of clinical, leadership, and quality roles across Texas.  Mary also serves as a Director for the North Texas Consortium of Professional Nursing Programs and Practice Partners. Mary facilitates and enhances professional nursing education by identifying current trends and issues in education and practice and intervenes accordingly with policy recommendations for the pediatric population.  Mary received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from Baylor University and a Master of Science in Nursing Administration (MS) from Texas Women’s University. She maintains Nurse Executive, Advanced-Board Certified (NEA-BC) credentials, from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).  Mary is an active member of the American Nurses Association, Texas Nurses Association, and the Texas Organization of Nurse Executives.  As a transformational leader, Mary’s philosophy of patient care centers on the synergy between the patient, family, and the clinician. To accomplish this, the all aspects of clinical informatics are critical. Under Mary’s leadership, bedside caregivers have a plethora of clinical tools to optimize quality patient care.

    • Claudia Wilder, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer – Baylor University Medical Canter

Claudia Wilder serves as VP/CNO of Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, overseeing approximately 2000 nurses. She is responsible for nursing practice, education and research.  Claudia received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Ohio University; Masters of Nursing Science from Wright State University and will complete her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in May 2013.  Claudia led various clinical areas throughout her career and served as Interim Chief Nursing Officer at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio before coming to Baylor University Medical Center in December 2007.  Claudia is a member of ANA, TNA, AONE and Sigma Theta Tau. Claudia is a J&J Wharton Fellowship Nurse Executives.

DFW HIMSS CNO Panel Discussion summary:  

What is the role of the CNO in healthcare reform?

The role is multifaceted and includes nursing education, best practice expansions, advancement of the role of nurses in general, focus on prevention and then keeping patients out of the hospital after discharge.  Healthcare reform opens opportunities to improve, have more access to care, and helps us to learn to be good financial stewards.  Challenges are seen, however, in areas that are not clearly defined.  For example, different states have different regulations, and it is unclear how to handle patient care when the patient comes from another state to be seen at your facility, but then goes back to their home state after discharge.  In regard to post-care, prevention of readmission, etc, does the state where the patient was treated have the final say based on their state regulations, or do regulations of the state the patient returns to after discharge apply instead?  If we can’t manage patient care once the patient has been discharged, how can we be held responsible for readmission occurrences?

What key strategies are CNO’s forming to meet the demands of healthcare reform?

Technology is going to help drive reform.  CNO’s are working diligently to identify the right technologies that should be used to best meet requirements, challenges, and expectations.  Access centers with all the information in one place and real-time locator systems (RTLS) are very helpful.  Technology increases efficiency.  CNO’s are also meeting challenges by collaborating with all teams in their organization to focus on the patient and advance better care.  Collaboration is key in order to create the most effective solutions.  Also, since consumers have become more educated and have the right to choose, they are more informed as to what they have, what they need, where they should go for best treatment and to be seen as soon as possible.  They are also much more aware of the cost of care, therefore cost of care must be managed carefully.

What are the biggest challenges CNO’s face, and how are they overcome?

There are thousands of initiatives to be accomplished, and there is always a strong sense of urgency with each one.  This can be overcome by taking time to prioritize which initiatives you want to focus on and in what order based on the outcomes expected from accomplishing the initiative in consideration.  There are so many different technologies available, but it is hard to find the best one for your hospital.  Of course, you also always want to be sure that the technology you select will integrate with your existing technologies that you already have.  Integration is key.  It is critical to stay up-to-date with new technology and clinical practices.  In fact, you need to stay 10 steps ahead.  Lastly, there must be a focus on finding quality technology at an affordable price.

What are the current challenges regarding integration of new systems?

Double-tracking of data is an issue.  We need to get enough data, but we don’t need the same data twice.  Furthermore, different technologies may produce varying data for the same report.  Which one is the source of truth?  It is not necessary to have the same software in a package as what you already have, just provide the pieces of software that we need while integrating what we already have.  Data is at risk when one system affects another.  Again, integration is key and will be necessary for technologies moving forward.

Claudia Wilder and Mary Stowe are two industry leaders who have a great deal of experience and expertise, and this led directly to one of the most successful education events I have attended in the DFW region. 

View upcoming DFW HIMSS events


A Nurse’s Lifeline…


When trying to perform well on the job, it is necessary to have the proper tools and resources.  Could you imagine being a lawyer without a book of law?  A teacher without a whiteboard?  An actor without a script?

How about performing as a nurse in a hospital without a nurse call system?  From a leader’s perspective, imagine being a CNO without a way to track patient care administered by your staff.  Imagine trying to cut down on the number of nurses needed per shift in your hospital and realizing that nurses are being used to answer patient calls where a tech’s help would more than suffice.

These areas of concern can all be solved by using a tool that is having a huge impact on improving patient care.  Better patient care produces higher patient satisfaction.  Higher patient satisfaction results in more funding from the government for the hospital at stake.

Nurse call systems improve HCAHP scores by bridging the gap between patients and their nurse.  They also create Meaningful Use by communicating the right message to the right person when a call is made.  For instance, leading nurse call systems have the ability to relay the message that a patient is in pain directly to their nurse, but relay the message that a patient needs water to a tech, therefore allowing a nurse to answer the call when needed but carry on with more critical tasks when a less critical call from a patient is made.

Patient satisfaction has always been rewarding, but it is now tied to financial rewards for hospitals more than ever before.

The article below elaborates more on Nurse Call Systems as a cutting edge solution for improving the patient experience while increasing efficiency in workflow for nurses.

Nurse Call Systems – A Nurse’s Partner in Care

nurse call system