Putting Patients First

MMCSC nurses are working toward a prestigious recognition for their high-quality care.

nurses at Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus discussing patient safetyLast November, a Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus (MMCSC) nurse received a handwritten nomination for a Daisy Award, which honors exceptional nurses at hospitals across the country:

As a doula for almost 18 years, I have worked with many nurses in various units. From this perspective, I would like to nominate Daniella Dyovich, RN, for the Daisy Award. I have been at MMCSC with my 95-year-old father…for a month. Daniella has the unique ability to zero in on the medical and emotional needs of patients and their loved ones. With her warm and confident manner, she is quick and responsive to any need. Her sincere concern motivates her to excellence in skills and techniques…everything to her is “no problem” or “just call me if I can help you.” Even at the end of a long shift, she still maintains her compassionate, smiling, easygoing, positive energy.

For the past two years, a growing number of MMCSC nurses have received multiple Daisy Award nominations from patients, and many have received the awards. “I’m proud of how hard our nurses work to provide compassionate, personalized, patient-centered care,” says Judy Colorado, RN, BSN, MA, NE-BC, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) and Vice President of Patient Care Services.

At MMCSC, nurses are committed to excellence. They provide the best possible patient experience and follow evidence-based practices, such as sitting at the level of a patient at his or her bedside while giving a report about a patient to the next nurse on duty; checking on patients hourly; ensuring a patient’s call bell is within reach; and responding to patients quickly. “I’m a hands-on CNO,” says Colorado. “I want to connect with patients and act as a role model for other nurses. I do a lot of rounding to influence nurses—and ensure patient safety.” This dedication has been acknowledged through a variety of recent accolades:

• MMCSC is a top 10 New Jersey performer in nurse communication, meaning nurses explain patients’ care plans clearly and listen to their concerns, according to Press Ganey, a national group that measures patient experience for healthcare organizations.

• MMCSC is ranked among the top 10 performers in New Jersey for responsiveness of hospital staff to patient needs, communication with nurses, and communications regarding medications and discharge between 2017 and 2018. These rankings are based on patient satisfaction surveys conducted by Press Ganey.

• The MMCSC Emergency Department (ED) ranks No. 1 in the RWJBarnabas Health system with a score of 92.8 year-to-date. The Ambulatory Surgery score is 94 year-to-date.

Currently, MMCSC is working toward Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. It’s the most prestigious distinction a healthcare organization can receive for nursing excellence and high-quality patient care. Only 8 percent of hospitals across the country earn this designation. One requirement is an engaged nursing staff. At MMCSC, the Nursing Excellence 2018 Survey revealed that staff engagement was outstanding compared to the national average, says Colorado. “Staff engagement is a key metric for delivering a high quality patient experience, and our staff members are truly engaged,” she says.

To become a Magnet organization, a hospital must have a “shared governance” structure, in which staff nurses representing different units meet to discuss quality of care, nursing practices, policies and procedures. They submit recommendations to the nursing leadership team, which then creates an action plan. Over the past four years, MMCSC nurses have contributed to achieving positive patient outcomes, such as decreased fall incidences and catheter-associated urinary tract infections. “We ensured that our nursing staff members are following standard-of-care and protocols,” says Colorado. “Staff members’ concerns were heard, then we worked with them to eliminate barriers.”

At MMCSC, staff nurses with leadership potential are being trained to become leaders—another key part of the journey to Magnet status. They are sent to an aspiring nurse leader training program (Succession Planning) sponsored by RWJBarnabas Health nurse leaders. “We’ve made nursing leadership exciting and fun,” says Colorado, who meets with new nurse leaders on a monthly basis to mentor them and provide support.

MMCSC will be eligible to apply for Magnet status in the next 12 to 18 months (the hospital must submit eight
quarters of data representing nursing excellence). “Our nurses deserve this recognition,” says Colorado. “They are Magnet material. The excitement is palpable in terms of their engagement and the improvements in quality of care at MMCSC.”

Judy Colorado, RN, BSN, MA, NE-BC, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services, was recently recognized for her many achievements:

• In April, the New Jersey State Nurses Association honored Colorado and 12 other nurses for outstanding professional career accomplishments and contributions to the nursing profession at its Divas and Dons Gala in Princeton.

• In May, Colorado was one of 21 nurses across the globe to be honored at the 3rd annual International Nurses Day by Nurses With Global Impact, Inc., an organization that celebrates nurses, at the United Nations in New York City. The event honored nurses
who demonstrate exemplary practices in delivering healthcare with global impact.