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Federal governement selects HHS for provincial nursing research project

News Release
March 6, 2009
HAMILTON - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced today in Winnipeg that the federal government will fund a research initiative at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) that is developing a new way of helping hospital leaders, clinical managers and front-line nurses plan their nursing staffing requirements.
The HHS project, plus eight others across the country, will receive a total of $4.2 million. They are part of a national initiative called Research to Action: Applied Workplace Solutions for Nursing. An overall objective of the initiative is to engage nurses' unions, employers and governments in new, collaborative partnerships to address specific and urgent nursing workforce retention and recruitment issues at the national level and in the workplace.
The project at HHS is focused on the creation of a "nursing dashboard" that provides information about specific indicators such as patient acuity (how sick the patients are), length of stay, nursing skill mix, worked/overtime hours, selected patient outcomes -- indicators that describe the "input, throughput and output" within a given patient unit. With this information, hospital leaders, unit managers and nurses will be able to make better decisions about how many nurses and what type of nurses are required at any given time.
"This dashboard will allow for better allocation of resources, enhanced application of measures related to the quality of nursing care, a better understanding of the needs of the bedside nurse and, most importantly, improved patient outcomes. I am really excited about the involvement of front-line nurses in better understanding the complexities of nursing staffing decisions, and to receiving their input to the decisions we are making," said Nancy Fram, Vice President Professional Affairs and Chief Nursing Executive at Hamilton Health Sciences.
"If we want to boost the quality of work life experienced by our nurses and keep them in the workplace longer, we must make appropriate, well-informed decisions about staffing," said Kim Alvarado, PhD, Chief of Nursing Practice at the Henderson and Chedoke sites of HHS. "That is the purpose behind this tool and the aim of our research."
This is the second year of the dashboard project for HHS. It was developed and tested by staff in the hospital's Decision Support department in collaboration with the nursing leaders on pilot units. This work was led by Wendy Gerrie, Director of Decision Support. Over the coming year, 10 more clinical units at HHS will pilot and evaluate the dashboard.
An unprecedented number of partners are involved in Research to Action -- nurses' organizations, all levels of government and employers. In Ontario, those include: the Ontario Nurses' Association and the Nursing Secretariat of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Key national partners are: Health Canada, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, the Canadian Nurses Association, the Canadian Healthcare Association. All are dedicated to identifying strategies that will address the growing shortage of nurses in Canada.
For more information contact:
Krista Maling, Senior Public Relations Specialist
Hamilton Health Sciences
Telephone: (905) 521-2100, ext. 76589
Paging: (905) 521-5030
Heather Pullen, Manager, Public Relations & Communications
Hamilton Health Sciences
Telephone: (905) 521-2100, ext. 75387
Paging: (905) 521-5030
Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

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