Charting the course for American Nurses Credentialing Center–Approved perioperative nurse-sensitive indicators

Mary Shepherd, Nina Hawthorne


The current health care environment, with increasing public awareness of and attention to patient safety, mandates the delivery of exceptional quality care.  To meet the health care requisites of the perioperative patient population, clinical nurses have identified the need for nurse-sensitive clinical indicators for this setting. We describe the strategies used to identify, obtain American Nurses Credentialing Center approval for, and integrate nurse-sensitive indicators into the perioperative setting to advance a Magnet culture. Prior to this, nurse-sensitive indicators for the perioperative setting that enabled nurses to monitor and improve patient care outcomes, in accordance with the standards of a Magnet-recognized hospital, had not been formally established. A review of the literature yielded a list of potential metrics, which included normothermia, patient falls with harm, and retained surgical items. Methodology and data collection processes for these metrics were established, facilitating quarterly Nursing Dashboards and collaboration among nurses to improve patient outcomes. This groundbreaking initiative enables nurses to routinely evaluate whether the structures and processes of care effectively yield quality outcomes. This foundational work has broader implications for nursing practice, because these quality metrics can easily be translated into perioperative settings in other health care organizations.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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