The Advantages of Nursing Experience When Implementing Halo
At Atrium Health Northeast in Concord, NC, extensive inpatient and outpatient networks provided clinically excellent and compassionate care. With over 450 beds and 4,200 hospital employees, it was important to analyze and innovate existing workflows in order to improve patient outcomes. By combining an understanding of clinical workflows with technical expertise, Halo’s Implementation team offered solutions for this health system’s clinical communication challenges.
The trauma center faced critical decisions in time-sensitive situations, as patients came in with a variety of symptoms and conditions. This image was familiar for Nursing Informatics Consultant Chris Hannah. When analyzing the center’s processes and workflows, he was reminded of the long hours and alert fatigue he experienced as a Trauma Nurse at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
“It’s important to highlight how this hospital admits their patients in the emergency room. The handoff process between nurses and physicians often leads to lots of frustration, since there are gaps in their communication,” said Chris. “Having worked as a nurse, I was able to explain to them how Halo would make their jobs easier, and give them ideas their teams could utilize.”
Months leading up to the implementation process required substantial preparation. Internal Halo meetings with project managers allowed the team to appropriately allocate resources based on existing Northeast workflows. Several team members traveled down to Northeast weeks prior to train Halo Champions and familiarize themselves with the facility and its employees.
“Since we were modifying their workflows, I thought people would be reluctant about the changes, but I never experienced that,” said Chris. “Everything was well-planned, organized, and everyone knew where they needed to be.”
While the overall implementation was a success, there were common issues that occurred throughout the week. When first logging into Halo, some users accidentally entered their password in all-caps, while others did not realize that passwords were case sensitive. In addition, when registering users on the platform, Chris discovered that a few had the wrong email address or phone number listed in the database.
Since the start of his role at Halo, Chris mentioned that it was a challenge at first to adjust to a different work environment. “It was hard to switch at the beginning. As a nurse, I was so used to constantly being slammed with 15 different things to do. There was endless beeping, yelling, and I was on the night shift, so sleep deprivation was definitely a factor. It’s been an interesting transformation – things are a lot quieter.”
Although the Halo technologies were new to him, he found that he is now able to leverage his previous nursing experience while becoming more acquainted with the product itself. His initial understanding of clinical workflows has greatly helped him see how to best approach other healthcare systems’ communication challenges, and how to convey where and how Halo would help them save time, which in turn would improve patient care – every nurse’s goal.
“I’m immersed in something that is completely foreign to me, and I like that,” said Chris. “Of course, I still miss being a nurse, but in this role, I’m able to affect change for clinicians on a much larger scale. The platform is deployed to multiple health facilities, and I’m doing good for more people.”