Top photo from left: Shannon Lynch, Nanci Hanron, Kerry Kimmig, Rita Hatzis, Karen Londergan and Tricia Kennedy. Lower left photo: Barbara Appel, Najmah Freeman and Kathy Charbonnier. Lower right: Pamela Whitney, Stephanie Eleyi and Isabel Block.

The experience of infertility treatment, including tests, medications and procedures, can be stressful for patients and loved ones.

Seeking to best support patients and families during this time, clinical nurses in the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery (CIRS) identified opportunities to standardize their workflows to improve patient education and satisfaction.

They created a taskforce and developed a workflow redesign through Epic, which included Smartphrase templates for nurse-to-patient education that could be customized for specific fertility cycle instructions. The templates included:

  • Smartlinks to automatically pull in patient-specific data, eliminating the need to re-enter data and preventing transcription errors
  • Hard stops to prevent omissions in the instructions
  • Medication dropdown Smartlists containing frequently used medications and dosages to standardize medication education, eliminating the use of paper handouts or the need to retype or copy and paste information from previous notes
  • A learning assessment in the plan of care to identify the patient’s preferred learning style and evaluate content for appropriate reading comprehension level
  • Links to related video education
  • An embedded, printable calendar to clarify the fertility timeline specific to each patient’s plan of care.

As part of the workflow, the task force members also implemented follow-up phone calls to patients within 48 hours of initial instructions to answer questions and ensure their understanding.

The task force members assessed workflow effectiveness through continuous nurse feedback during the pilot and worked with the Nursing Informatics team on the templates and changes as needed.

They also surveyed patients about their experience and incorporated their feedback.

As a result, patient satisfaction on the survey question, “Did nurses explain things in a way you could understand?” increased from 89.3 percent to 94.4 percent over six months.

Why it’s Magnet: Magnet designation requires one example of an improved outcome associated with clinical nurse involvement with the design or redesign of a workflow in an ambulatory setting as part of the New Knowledge, Innovations and Improvements component (NK7EOb).

Nurses who participated included: Amanda Shimko, MSN, RN, CNL, clinical nurse educator; Pamela Whitney, BSN, RN, nurse-in-charge; Kathleen Charbonnier, BSN, RN; Shannon Lynch, BSN, RN; Rose Passamonte, DNP, FNP-BC, professional development manager; Farah Abellard, MSN, RN, former professional development manager (now nursing director); Laura Maclean, MSN, RN-BC, nursing director of Ambulatory Informatics; and Stephanie Eleyi, MBA, BSN, RN, nursing director of Ambulatory OB/GYN.