Award Report – National Evidence-Based Practice Conference.
Peter Cole, library director at St. Michael’s Medical Center, and three other members of the SMMC Evidence-Based Practice Committee presented their poster “Nurse Navigator: Impacting Life and Death” at the 15th National Evidence Based Practice Conference on April 25th in Coralville, IA. Their poster aimed to raise awareness – not only of the nurse navigator program at St. Michael’s Connie Dwyer Breast Center, but of the profound impact the role plays in patient care. Nurse educators Roxana Gonzalez, RN, CCRN, and Kathryn Kozub, RN, along with Breast Center and Blood Research Institute director Terri Pietsch, MSN, RN, CTR, co-authored the abstract with the vision of expanding the nurse navigator’s role at SMMC. Currently, the nurse navigator, after consulting with the breast center’s interdisciplinary team, meets with newly diagnosed cancer patients without insurance or the means to strategize and develop of plan of care. From there, the journey of the navigator and the patient continues; throughout the course of treatment, the navigator provides guidance and a “nurses touch” to ensure understanding, compliance, quality care, improved outcomes, long term follow-up, and patient satisfaction (the navigator sees to it that all underinsured breast cancer patients receive diagnostic testing, procedures, and care of the highest quality through local and national funding). The team believes the role could be expanded to Oncology Nurse Navigator, and utilize the nurse as a mentor to assist in establishing competencies for other nurse navigators. The team also believes that the Interdisciplinary Oncology team could implement a Literature Attached to Chart (LATCH) program, which would include mandate each patient’s chart contains results from a literature search performed by the librarian, specifically tailored to each patient. In addition, a pathfinder of consumer health resources would be inserted into the patient’s file, along with information on local, state, and national support programs that are available to the individual.
The amount of support the conference displayed for health information professionals was overwhelming: librarians were referred to as “information sources;” there were calls for “unit-based informationists;” and several presenters acknowledged the importance of medical librarians to their research. The conference’s theme was “Reflections on the past, directions for the future: Implications for research and clinical practice.” With sessions entitled “Evolution in Resources: a clinician’s perspective” and “Advanced Search Strategies for Finding a Cost Benefit for EBP Projects,” it was made abundantly clear that information professionals – and the services they provide – are essential to the annals, present, and future of evidence-based practice.
Peter received a National Network of Libraries of Medicine – Middle Atlantic Region Small Projects Award grant to assist with travel expenses to the conference