CS123 - Txt 2 Staff: A Beacon Unit Uses Simple Innovation for Staffing Effectiveness
Primary Author: Maria Scheutzow
Institution: University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH
Contact Email: maria.scheutzow@uhhospitals.org
Purpose: Staffing effectively to meet ever-changing acuity and census needs is a challenge in most every ICU. In our large academic medical center, it seemed that all too often the charge nurse was spending considerable time each shift making telephone calls to ask staff to come in for extra shifts. It was a time-consuming task. We set out to find a more efficent way to contact staff quickly and conveniently.
Description: The Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) purchased a cellular phone with unlimited text-messaging. It is exclusively used to text message staff with emerging staffing needs or urgent messages. Participation is voluntary. To date, approximately 50% of SICU RNs are participating in the "Txt 2 Staff" program.
Evaluation/Outcomes: The program has been very successful. Charge nurses verbalize that they are confident they are reaching the maximal number of RNs with an expressed desire to be notified of overtime availability. They do not hesitate to text page even when a nurse may be sleeping after a night shift. It is easier to fill staffing holes more quickly. It is a simple use of technology to make an RN's workflow more efficient and effective.We have shared our innovation with other nursing units and are planning to offer the Txt 2 Staff program throughout the critical care divisions. In addition, we will share our insights with our hospital Safety Officer as it could be helpful in our emergency communication plan.
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