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Geneva General Hospital Telemetry Floor Adopts Pod Nursing Model

GENEVA—A medical telemetry floor at Geneva General Hospital, 3 West, recently adopted “pod nursing,” meaning that care is coordinated in a team approach rather than by individual nurses.

Instead of one nurse’s station as many units have, 3 West now has three nurse’s stations—or pods—each equipped with telemetry monitors. Each pod consists of two registered nurses (RNs) and one certified nursing assistant (CNA), and together the three caregivers are responsible for roughly 8-12 patients. Additionally, the team approach allows one RN to accompany physicians on their rounds, increasing communication and creating a continuum of care between physician, nurse and nursing assistant.

Nursing leadership on 3 West explained that the pod nursing model is widely used, but no two hospitals will use it the exact same way. It needs to be adapted to meet each unit’s unique structure.

One way 3 West has successfully adapted the model is by instituting team “huddles” every two hours to establish consistent communication between the pods. While one RN tends to the patients, the other meets with one RN representative from the other two pods for 10-15 minutes. This session allows for problem solving and provides a forum to make group decisions, such as which pod will accept the next admission to the floor. The RN representative at the huddle will then return to the pod and update the other RN about what was discussed, while the CNAs attend their own huddle for 10-15 minutes. Nursing leadership on the floor believes this strategy allows staff to have continuous communication with each other throughout the day, even though they deliver care in their separate pods.

The increased communication between caregivers has made a big impression with 3 West patients. During daily satisfaction rounds, patients noted that they see a health care provider so frequently, they feel their needs are being met proactively. Several also added that they rarely find it necessary to use their call bells with this team approach to care.

Since adopting the pod nursing model, 3 West reached 100 consecutive days of 100 percent positive feedback during daily patient rounds. Other medical/surgical units at Geneva General Hospital are currently evaluating the model and its implications for their specific needs and structure.

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