Innovative Idea Goes ‘Above and Beyond’
Monica Buskey, BSN, RN, who works in the catheterization lab at UVM Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, has made a tremendous difference with patients requiring a procedure for a certain type of heart problem. Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) is a procedure that uses a thin, flexible tube to place a stent that opens up blood vessels in the heart. She noticed that PCI patients who live relatively close to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital were usually able to go home the same day of the procedure. However, those who lived more than 60 miles away had to stay overnight for observation.
The protocol was in place so that patients received care quickly if the need ever arose. At the same time, the number of beds available was a serious concern due to the now constant surge of patients in need of more acute care. Buskey considered a solution that could address both issues: Same-day discharge to a local hotel for long-distance PCI patients.
Buskey conducted research indicating that discharging eligible patients to a nearby hotel would be just as safe as those able to go home the day of the procedure. She shared that information with the Cardiology team, including physicians and managers who signed off on the safety of discharging long-distance PCI patients to a hotel overnight. Buskey and her team worked to create a smooth transition from hospital to hotel room and back home – from clothing and medication needs to post-procedure education. Buskey partnered with the hospital to establish a process for booking hotel rooms, which were also paid for by the hospital. The new protocol went into place in October 2021 and was considered successful by patients. The hospital’s Director of Cardiology and Interventional Radiology Services, Beth LeClair, BSN, RN, noted that during follow-up phone calls, many patients expressed their deep satisfaction with the new protocol. They cited comfort and quality of sleep as significant factors.
Since the new plans went into place, Buskey’s innovative idea has been recognized with the hospital’s Leadership Excellence and Development (LEAD) award twice. The LEAD designation is part of the hospital’s clinical ladder program for nurses, which provides a financial bonus, as well as opportunities for professional development and career advancement.