Jacqueline Dow

Including the voice of nursing in decision-making processes is critical to our ability to provide the safest, highest quality care.

Our Interprofessional Falls Committee (IFC) is a decision-making group comprised of nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and transport team members.

When Jacqueline Dow, MSN, RN, of Shapiro 9W/10EW, at left, a member of the IFC and her Unit-Based Practice Council, identified an increase in patient falls on her unit, she collaborated with the unit-based practice council and Debra Pelletier, MSN, RN, nursing director, to facilitate interventions identified by the IFC.

These included:

  • Providing double-sided, non-slip socks for patients
  • Using chair alarm cords to help all team members easily identify a room
  • Implementing shift huddles to target fall prevention and maintain awareness
  • Providing education about the need to select appropriate bed-alarm zoning and ensure that the bed alarm is properly connected to the wall. This helps nurses identify which room is alarming and reach a patient more quickly.

The efforts of Dow, her colleagues and the unit-based practice council resulted in a decrease in the unit’s patient fall rate per 1,000 patient days from 4.25 in August 2021 to 2.07 in March 2022. Dow, who now works in the Cardiac Catheterization lab, noted that the Shapiro 9W/10EW Unit-Based Practice Council is continuing this important work. They now place a colored magnet on the board to indicate fall risk for patients at high risk.

Why It’s Magnet: Magnet designation requires two examples of an improved patient outcome associated with the participation of a clinical nurse serving as a member of an organization-level, interprofessional decision-making group as part of the Structural Empowerment (SE1EOb) component of the Magnet model.

This example demonstrates how the voice of clinical nurses is included in decision-making about quality, safety, practice and other topics at the Brigham. It’s who we are.