New nursing care model that provides better patient care, creates new jobs and saves hospital funds expands cross-country
LUBBOCK, Texas, June 6, 2023 — To help combat the U.S. health care workforce shortage, Covenant Medical Center piloted Co-Caring, an innovative hybrid nursing model that provides patients with high-quality care and increases caregiver satisfaction, success, and retention. After a successful pilot year at Covenant Medical Center, part of the Providence family of organizations, the health system now expands its program to ten other units in its hospitals across Providence’s seven-state service area.
“The past three years dramatically transformed our industry and workforce in ways that accelerated the modernization of care,” Providence Chief Nursing Officer Syl Trepanier said. “Co-Caring represents an innovative solution to one of health care’s most pressing issues – the increased need for nurses, which for the United States is currently estimated at more than 200,000 new nurses required each year to account for population growth.”
In 2021, Providence introduced a nursing care model pilot at Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas. This new model, includes a technology allowing a virtual nurse to care for patients and support the bedside team through a bi-directional audio/video platform.
The virtual nurse helps with the admission process, discharge preparation, MRI and pre-procedural checklists, medication reconciliation, and much more. The virtual nurse also attends the daily Interdisciplinary Team Meeting along with the charge nurses, case managers and physicians.
Co-Caring, also includes a collaborative team at the bedside, which reduces the demand on nurses and their support teams of certified nursing assistants (CNA), patient care technicians (PCT), and nurse technicians (NT) through a more efficient approach. Unlike the traditional care model in which nurses and their support are working independently, Co-Caring allows nurses to focus on assessment, medication administration, and critical thinking, while the assistants focus on activities of daily living for example.
“This pilot is not about one unit in one hospital,” Julie Wright, nursing manager at Covenant Health said. “It is about taking the first steps to changing how we care for our patients. We are working on creating an environment where burnout is the exception and not the rule, and where joy is the expectation.”
Beyond patient and caregiver satisfaction, the Co-Caring model has proven to have positive financial implications. The ability to recruit and retain staff is a large financial concern for all organizations, and the frequent hiring and training of new caregivers is a great financial burden. With this new model in place, first-year turnover (FYTO) rates are down by 73% for RN’s and 55% for all staff on the unit.
Because the Co-Caring model utilizes support staff more effectively, Covenant Medical Center has been able to decrease the amount of travel nurses it employs and has been able to hire more nurses, CNAs, and PCTs, boosting the local job markets in each community Providence serves.
Providence is the parent company of Covenant Health. Covenant Medical Center is a ministry (hospital) of Covenant Health. Covenant Medical Center is a 381-bed, tertiary-care hospital for adults. The hospital treats about 20,000 patients annually and is the only certified stroke center in West Texas.
About Covenant Health
As a faith-based health care system, it is Covenant Health’s vision to create Health for a Better World. As the Best Hospital in the Panhandle Plains region as voted by U.S. News and World Report, Covenant Health has consistently provided exceptional health care to West Texas, and eastern New Mexico for more than 100 years. Our clinically integrated health network of eight hospitals, and more than 6,000 caregivers allows us to provide our patients with better access to care using more innovative technology and procedures while focusing on new age approaches to health care like education and preventative medicine. To learn more about Covenant Health, please visit covenanthealth.org or our Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, pages.
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