O’Connor nurses graduate from Clinical Advancement in Research and Education Program

Los Altos Hills, CA – One hundred and four nurses from Seton Medical Center, Daly City; O’Connor Hospital, San Jose; and Saint Louise Regional Hospital, Gilroy graduated from the Clinical Advancement in Research and Education (CARE) Program on January 20. The day-long event, held at the Palo Alto Hills Golf and Country Club, marked the completion of a comprehensive 18-month program initiating nurse-led councils and evidence-based practices wherein nurses are permitted a wider range of decision-making authority. At the core of the program was a mandate to reduce sepsis by 25 percent in the three Daughters of Charity Health System (DCHS) northern California hospitals.

“I am so proud of our nurses for their dedication and commitment to this program,” says Vice President of Quality Nancy Carragee, RN, MS and director of the program. “Our goal of reducing sepsis by 25 percent was met and in some cases exceeded,” she reports. “Front line clinicians deliver tremendous results when equipped with the right skills, authority and executive support. All of this adds up to excellence in patient care.”

Sepsis is defined as a systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) resulting from a bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic infection. An estimated 750,000 patients nationwide develop severe sepsis annually. As many as 215,000 patients die as a result of the acute infection. Costs associated with sepsis treatment in U.S. hospitals are estimated at $17 billion annually.

This program was made possible by a $2.2 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, along with matching funds from the CEOs from the three participating DCHS hospitals. According to DCHS President and CEO Robert Issai, this leadership program dovetails with the Mission and Values of DCHS. “It is imperative that we continue to grow leaders who perform as change agents to improve our quality of care,” he offers. “These graduates will now take everything they have learned, apply it and serve as mentors to their colleagues. This graduation lays the foundation for future clinical advancement and professional growth.”

Scott Thompson, RN, BSN, CEN, sees the CARE program as a system-wide collaborative effort, but also notes results at Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, where he serves as director of critical care services. “This program is beneficial to our organization as it has improved patient outcomes through early detection and treatment, ultimately saving patient lives,” he shares. “CARE also improved inter-department and physician relationships through collaboration and the use of evidence-based practice.”

DCHS partnered with Julie Kliger, RN, MPA, president of the Altos Group and creator of the Integrated Nurse Leadership Program (INLP), a change framework model which emphasizes building high functioning teams. The 18-month program was recently introduced in the two Southern California DCHS hospitals, St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles and St. Francis Medical Center, Lynwood. This program has been made possible through a grant from UniHealth Foundation and the Daughters of Charity Health System.