San Diego CSI Academy Results Add to Program’s Impact

Jul 27, 2017

Added to Collection

Nurses at eight San Diego hospitals develop initiatives to improve patient outcomes, operational processes as part of AACN CSI Academy.

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. – July 27, 2017 – Empowered to initiate change and improve everyday processes, critical care nurses at eight Southern California hospitals developed initiatives to address diverse healthcare challenges, with noteworthy clinical and fiscal results.

The results stem from the nurses’ participation in a 16-month, hospital-based nurse leadership and innovation training program delivered and funded by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

Known as AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy, the team-oriented program empowers bedside nurses as clinician leaders and change agents whose initiatives measurably improve the quality of patient care with bottom-line impact to the hospital.

The CSI Academy teams reported a variety of clinical successes from their initiatives, some of which include:

  • A new staffing grid focused on improving patient, nurse and staff satisfaction also contributed to reducing patient falls by 50 percent and staff injuries by 81 percent.
  • Revising the prevention protocol for patients at risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) decreased occurrence of VTE in pediatric patients ages 10 and older 100 percent. The new criteria is now in place hospital-wide.
  • Implementing an ICU diary program helped reduce anxiety and increase satisfaction for patients and their families during and after hospital stays, and increased patient follow-through on visits to the hospitals’ post-ICU recovery clinic.
  • A standardized debriefing process for critical events increased teamwork and improved patient outcomes, decreasing to zero the incidence of postpartum hemorrhage events requiring massive blood transfusion.

Local healthcare leaders said initial results from the CSI Academy projects demonstrate the positive impact empowering staff nurses can have on patients, hospitals and the nurses themselves.

“AACN CSI Academy provided a forum for UC San Diego Health nurses to work and learn with colleagues from other hospitals,” said Margarita Baggett, RN, MSN, chief clinical officer at UC San Diego Health. “The participants grew as individual leaders and collectively as a team.”

In terms of care practices and clinical outcomes, Baggett added, “This program led to rapid dissemination of evidence-based practice throughout our organization and beyond, and our nurses have become stronger champions for quality and service outcomes for our patients. The work they’ve done has already made a difference for our patients, their families and our staff.”

San Diego hospitals participating in AACN CSI Academy:

In addition to improving patient outcomes, the CSI Academy teams documented an anticipated positive annual fiscal impact of nearly $3.9 million.

The San Diego teams have presented their initiatives at local, state and national nursing conferences, and the peer-reviewed journal, AACN Advanced Critical Care, published an overview of the ICU diary projects at UC San Diego Health’s Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center and Jacobs Medical Center.

The Southern California nursing teams represent the ninth regional group to complete AACN CSI Academy, following cohorts in Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. Nationwide, approximately 250 nurses at 66 hospitals have completed the program.

“Through CSI Academy, frontline nurses amplify their role as advocates for evidence-based clinical practice, frequently serving as resources for colleagues developing additional change initiatives,” said Dana Woods, AACN CEO. “Their projects often take on a life of their own, expanding to other units and becoming the foundation for system-wide implementation efforts.”

As part of its broader goal to inspire and empower all nurses to lead change that benefits patients and improves organizational effectiveness, AACN offers online access to CSI Academy Innovation Projects – including project plans, clinical interventions, data collection tools, outcomes and references.

With nearly 43,000 unique downloads of project materials, AACN’s online CSI Innovation Projects have become a resource for hospitals throughout the United States and beyond. Access the CSI projects from the AACN CSI Academy webpage (

AACN CSI Academy represents a substantial investment by AACN in the future of nursing, with the organization spending more than $2.25 million over the last five years to support national implementation of the program. This investment reflects AACN’s strategic response to the Institute of Medicine’s landmark “Future of Nursing” report and represents the expansion of a pilot program developed by Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN represents the interests of more than half a million acute and critical care nurses and includes more than 200 chapters in the United States. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4109; 949-362-2000;;;