Cost Containment is Not a Four Letter Word

Kathleen McLaughlin, DNP, RN, CWOCN, Staff Development, Paoli Hospital, Paoli, PA, Jennifer Delozier, BSN, RN, PCCN, CWOCN, PCU, Paoli Hospital, Paoli, PA, Cheryl Freese, RN, WTA, ICU, Paoli Hospital, Paoli, PA, Milana Sablich, BSN, RN, Paoli Hospital, Paoli Hospital, Paoli, PA, Mary McLaughlan, RN, telemetry/oncology, Paoli Hospial, Paoli, PA, Colleen Andrew, telemetry/oncology, Paoli Hospital, Paoli, PA, Kathryn Artzerounian, RN, CMSRN, ANCC, ASU, Paoli Hospital, Paoli, PA, Stacey Bradley, BSN, RN, WTA, Emergency Department, Paoli Hospital, Paoli, PA, Denise McKenna, RN, OR, Paoli Hospital, Paoli, PA and Diane Schuster, BSN, RN, CPAN, PACU, Paoli Hospital, Paoli, PA
Cost containment and nursing care are two topics that are not frequently discussed together. Yet, the bedside nurse directly impacts many costs associated with patient care.  The Dermal Defense Committee at a regional level II trauma center and community hospital have adopted methods to integrate this topic into daily nursing practice.  This team regularly engages in peer-to-peer education regarding skin and wound care issues, as well as monthly Prevalence and Incidence studies.  These nurses and patient care technician are employed in every inpatient hospital unit, as well as the emergency department, ambulatory surgical unit, operating room, and post anesthesia care unit.  Rounding on patients during monthly prevalence studies, members noticed the presence of unnecessary supplies in every room.  These members then embarked on a cost containment project.  The first step of which was to document the unnecessary items in each patient room, along with duplication of products.  Photographs were taken and shared with each unit.  The next step was identifying the cost of supplies. Members worked with supply chain management to ascertain this information.  Team members educate staff on every unit on an almost daily basis regarding proper use of supplies.  In order to reach staff on all shifts as well as weekend staff, a game entitled the "Price is Right" was developed.  Staff was given the opportunity to place prices next to commonly used patient care supplies (superabsorbent disposable incontinence pads, barrier creams, skin protectants, and perineal cleanser, etc.). This game is recreated yearly during a 12 hour Dermal Defense Education Day.  This simple strategy resulted in less clutter in patient rooms, ensuring the right products are used for each patient every time, and improvement in nosocomial pressure injury rates.  This demonstrates that nurses can be fiscally responsible while delivering a "5 Star Patient Care" experience.