Cultivating and celebrating nurse-led innovation


Improving patient outcomes and promoting the profession 

Earlier this year, the American Nurses Association (ANA) announced the winners of the 2021 ANA Innovation Awards, powered by BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company. These awards highlight, recognize, and celebrate nurse-led innovation that improves patient safety and outcomes. The individual nurse and nurse-led team award recipients receive monetary prizes of $25,000 and $50,000, respectively. These funds support developing, prototyping, producing, testing, and implementing their products over the next year.

“Whether your mental health and well-being are taxed from an underlying health condition, a medical procedure, or the stress created from the ongoing pandemic, providing education, trusted resources, and support is necessary for improved health outcomes,” said Oriana Beaudet, vice president of Nursing Innovation at the ANA Enterprise.

Individual Nurse Award

Rebecca Cherney, BSN, BS, RN

Rebecca Cherney’s innovation journey began after the death of a patient. This loss was the impetus for her to develop TrachTrail™, a first-of-its-kind adult tracheostomy care education program that teaches nurses evidence-based tracheostomy care and offers a standardized workflow for completing patient and family preparation in the last 2 weeks before discharge. TrachTrail provides user-friendly multimedia content, emphasizes patient-centered care, and builds upon interprofessional collaboration to ensure good quality of life with a tracheostomy at home.

Before TrachTrail, few standardized pre-discharge tracheostomy self-care training programs were available for adults. Nurses couldn’t effectively instruct patients and caregivers in the skills needed to care for their tracheostomy at home. TrachTrail includes five 2- to 3-minute educational videos, an interactive discharge timeline, a skills education checklist, and an at-home workbook for patients and caregivers. Since the debut of TrachTrail on a progressive care unit in 2017, the educational program has led to a dramatic decrease in length of hospital stays from an average of 64.8 days to an average of 16.6 days, yielding higher patient and caregiver satisfaction. A wider hospital implementation is planned for 2021–2022.

Team Award

Brighid Gannon, DNP, PMHNP-BC, and Pritma Dhillon-Chattha, DNP, MHA, RN 

The fact that mental healthcare often is difficult to access and too expensive led to the creation of Lavender, an online psychiatry and therapy office founded and operated by nurses. Lavender was launched in May 2020 to provide clients with accessible, affordable mental healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. All care is delivered by board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners who offer both medication management and supportive therapy in one session. This approach is cost-effective and efficient for clients. Mental health services are priced at 30% below market and insurance is accepted, with appointments typically available within the week. Effectiveness is measured by having clients complete a pre-session questionnaire before each visit, which includes standardized assessments such as the PHQ-9 and GAD-7. These are then analyzed on an aggregate basis to measure outcomes and inform quality improvements.

From idea to implementation, Lavender was launched within 45 days. Their services have helped hundreds of clients receive timely, efficient, and affordable care. Bookings have doubled every month since May, and continued demand has fueled rapid growth. Lavender is currently available in New York state, with plans to expand services throughout the country.

Read more at nursingworld.org/aia.

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