An IT innovation for individualizing care: success with clinicians leading the way


In 2004, the Knowledge-based Nursing Initiative (KBNI) began as a partnership between a university-based college of nursing, an informatics vendor, and a large, integrated health care system. The goal was to develop a process for translating evidence into actionable recommendations, embedding the recommendations into the computerized decision support and documentation systems, and supporting nurses' use of the nursing process to individualize care. This paper will describe the essential administrative, information technology (IT), educational and clinical support activities that were used to deploy this innovation into the electronic health record (EHR) and workflow of nurses on two acute care medical pilot units in July of 2008. The project supported every nurse to document their evidenced-based practice with each patient contact and populate the EHR database with rich, nursing sensitive, retrievable data for quality improvement and research. The results included verifying data reliability and validity, evaluating go-live preparation, and summarizing the qualitative and quantitative findings. Two critical factors that made this implementation a success were that the project had a transformational vision and that it was led by the clinical team and strongly supported by the IT team. The lessons learned in the adoption phase will be diffused to the rest of the health care system and beyond.

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