Riddle Nurse Designs Early Mobility Program for Older Patients

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Margarida (Maggie) Camacho, RN MSN/MHA, BC is currently a fellow in the Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy (GNLA), offered through Sigma Theta Tau International. Partnering with her mentor, Louise Hummel, MSN RN-BC, CEN who is Riddle Hospital’s Lead Clinical Nurse Educator, Magnet Coordinator & NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) Coordinator, the duo has designed the Early Mobility Program that focuses on early and frequent ambulation for geriatric patients. In addition, Maggie is supported by a faculty advisor, Kathleen Burke, PhD, RN, CENP, Corporate Director, Nursing Professional Development and Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania and Health System and Assistant Dean, Clinical Nurse Learning and Innovation for the University of Pennsylvania.

In her role as Patient Care Facilitator, Maggie collaborates daily with her manager, administrative coordinator, physicians, case managers, social workers, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians and ancillary departments to ensure safe and efficient care for patients in her unit. She then works on chart reviews to communicate with patients, families, and health care team members to achieve ‘quality of care’ goals and appropriate lengths of stay. Her observations of patients and their needs brought her to the realization of a need to build a process with this focus, coordinating it with the NICHE Program now in place. The Early Mobility Program begins once a patient comes to a unit with either (1) a physical therapy order that assesses minimal assistance of one person or (2) a nurse will perform the ‘Get Up and Go’ test to establish qualification into the project. These patients must be 65+ years, non-orthopedic and for this time, on 4 East and 4 Center. Overall the project has two parts; ‘out of bed for meals’ and then ‘early ambulation’ in the hallways, which once both are fully implemented, the goal is then to move the process hospital-wide. 

Maggie’s team includes nurses, physical therapists, patient care techs, patient transporters, volunteers, physicians and nurse educators who meet monthly, developing and fine-tuning the audit tool that will be used for the project. Expected outcomes include decreased lengths of stay, less readmissions, reduced loss of function, fewer DVT’s, blood clots, falls, pressure ulcers and a greater chance of going home if possible. Maggie shared, “on the all-important patient satisfaction side, it is hoped as well to see those scores rise. We kicked off in Jan. 2013 and it is our goal to see the process throughout Riddle Hospital within the year.”

About Riddle Hospital

Riddle Hospital, a member of Main Line Health, is a not-for-profit, acute-care hospital with 204 inpatient beds and 23 Transitional Care Center beds. Riddle has been nationally recognized by The Joint Commission, the Society of Chest Pain Centers and other health care rating organizations for its high quality patient care. For the fourth year in a row, Riddle has achieved designation from the Joint Commission as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®. Riddle was ranked among the top 10 hospitals in the Philadelphia Metro area by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2016–2017, and was ranked as high performing in the specialty area of orthopedics. Riddle Hospital was also ranked as high performing in the following Common Core specialty areas: COPD, colon cancer surgery, congestive heart failure, hip replacement and knee replacement. The hospital offers a full range of services including maternity, orthopedic care and cardiovascular care—aided by a dedicated team of health care professionals and advanced technology. Riddle Hospital recently expanded and enhanced its emergency department to better suit the growing needs of the community it serves. Health Center 4, a LEED Certified Gold building, houses the Rothman Institute, the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center, a variety of outpatient programs and a state of the art surgical center. The hospital has also achieved Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for excellence in nursing care.

Martha Grieco
Communications Coordinator
Riddle Hospital

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