Posts from March, 2015

Hospitals Save Money With Workplace Wellness

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 31st, 2015

Recruiting Nurses to Save Patients and Save Money!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 26th, 2015

Medication management is one of many issues facing patients most at risk. Yet an effort to help high-risk heart failure patients stay on their medications improved compliance to drug regimens, but had surprisingly little effect on lowering hospital readmission rates, according to a study by Duke University researchers.

The study was designed to learn why patients skip their medications, and test whether a nursing intervention could improve compliance.

decrease patient medication errors Increasingly, hospitals are facing financial penalties if patients are readmitted within 30 days. To reduce readmissions, hospitals are working to coordinate better and more intensive follow-up care in outpatient settings. Making sure patients take their medications is a key component.

As part of the intervention, nurses asked the patients about their symptoms, what triggered them, and how they typically responded. With coaching from nurses at 3, 6 and 12 months, patients were tutored about managing their symptoms, taking their pills on schedule and developing an action plan for addressing their symptoms. They were encouraged to use doctors’ offices and clinics rather than the ED.

The approach was successful. Patients who received the intervention were four times as likely to adhere to their medication regimens as the comparison group.

Once again, it is the nurses who save the patient and save the money! These programs will require more nurses. To learn the best strategies for nurse recruitment and nurse retention, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to discuss this program that improves staff satisfaction and patient satisfaction.

SelfCare Tip: Watch What You Eat After Stress

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 24th, 2015

Home Visits by Nurses Helps Babies and Budgets

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 19th, 2015

Nurses Home Visits with Baby and MomHome visiting programs lead to dramatic savings in emergency care for infants, according to a study at with Duke University in Durham, N.C.

Infants in the study group had 50% fewer emergency care episodes than other babies in the first year of life, researchers reported.

The study looked at Durham Connects, a program that provides home visits for newborns and their parents. The research scientists found that participating families visited the ED less often than control-group families and had fewer overnight hospital stays.

The results held true a year after birth, well after the nurse’s contact with the family had ended.

The findings have significant cost implications because the price of ED visits and overnight stays often ranges into the thousands of dollars. In contrast, the Durham Connects program costs an average of $700 per family.

In the program, a nurse visits new parents soon after their newborn comes home from the hospital, checks the health of the mother and baby and offers the parents tips on topics such as breast-feeding and child care. Nurses also screen for potential problems such as maternal depression. They link families who need help with appropriate community services. High-risk families were not the only ones who benefited; all families benefited.

Research findings call on hospital leaders to take a deeper look at how staff—primarily nurses—interact with patients and family to improve health and save money. These programs will require more nurses to meet these demands.

To learn the #1 strategy to increase nurse retention and nurse recruitment visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to discuss this easy-to-implement program for your staff.

40th Anniversary of the Vietnam Orphan Airlift

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 17th, 2015

LeAnn Thieman Operation Baby LiftIt’s hard to believe that the April will mark the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam Orphan Airlift. Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday when I was loading those precious babies in cardboard boxes as bombs were exploding all around us. Every anniversary is very emotional, and I’m so pleased that people are interested in learning about our journey. It is my hope that highlighting Operation Baby Lift will inspire compassion, caring, and encourage others to lend a helping hand to another in some capacity.

ARTICLE: Commemorating the infant airlift from Vietnam


Why Aren’t Nurses Advancing Their Education?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 12th, 2015

Less than half of Nurse Advanced DegreeRNs with an associate’s degree or a diploma plan to pursue any additional education in nursing.

However, RNs ages 19-39 are more likely to pursue higher education, with nearly 25% saying they expect to pursue a BSN and 34% planning to obtain an MSN, compared with 22% of RNs ages 40-54 planning to pursue a BSN and 22% eying an MSN.

Of younger nurses, 21% are certified in their specialty, but 59% expect to seek certification, according to the annual survey conducted by AMN Healthcare.

When asked why they may not be pursuing further education at this time, many admit that the stress of working in healthcare today is already overwhelming. To learn how to decrease stress throughout your healthcare system, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to discuss my Nurses Week presentations that reenergize nurses with life balance tools.

Poor Nurse Retention Causes Poor Patient Care

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 10th, 2015

Nurses Evaluate Patient Health Status, But What About Our SelfCare?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 5th, 2015

Nurses regularly evaluate the health and wellness of their patients and provide guidance and educational resources. But how many know the status of their health? How many are working to improve their SelfCare?

Now RNs can compare their health, safety and wellness to the overall U.S. population and other nurses by taking the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) HealthyNurse™ Health Risk Appraisal, developed in collaboration with Pfizer, Inc. This HIPAA-compliant online survey also allows nurses to assess workplace risks such as patient-lifting injuries and workplace violence, free of charge.

SelfCare or NursesThis HIPAA-compliant HRA gives nurses real-time data on their health, safety, and wellness, personally and professionally. Nurses can compare their results to national averages and ideal standards. Eventually, nurses will be able to compare their results to those of other nurses in specific groupings such as age or nursing specialty, when statistically relevant numbers are reached.

All RNs and RN nursing students are encouraged to take the appraisal for free and access the Web Wellness Portal at:

Upon completion of the HRA, nurses are directed to a web wellness portal, filled with interactive quizzes, games and pertinent resources. The HRA builds nursing data, inclusive of all ages and both sexes.

The appraisal is a component of ANA’s HealthyNurse™ program, which encourages nurses to focus on SelfCare so they can be at their healthiest–physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually–to provide the highest quality of care and serve as role models, advocates, and educators for their patients.

To learn SelfCare that nurtures your mind, body, and spirit visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. What would it mean for your facility if all staff cared for themselves? Contact me today to discuss my proven strategy for permanent culture change.

Nurse Health: Hospital Workers’ Health Crisis

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 3rd, 2015