How is NDNQI used?

According to Sachs (2010), NDNQI is the richest database of nursing performance in the country. Hospitals can compare performance and job satisfaction levels of individual nursing units to similar units locally, regionally and nationally.

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NDNQI Data Significance

The data reported in NDNQI are nurse sensitive indicators. NDNQI data are used to show the impact nurses have on quality of care. These indicators are nursing sensitive, so they show how nursing care, such as good oral care, or skin care or the interventions that prevent patient falls, are so important to patient outcomes (Trossman, 2006).

 IPFW Hospital
Total Falls per 1000 Patient Days
IPFW Hospital Medical Unit

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During the 3rd quarter in 2009, the hospital implemented new bed alarms.

NDNQI data would be posted on the unit as a dashboard. A dashboard is a one page print out that graphically represents whether a unit met, exceeded, or fell short of target goals for each indicator and how the unit compared against unit based national benchmarks (Trossman, 2006).

TCAB: Transforming Care at the Bedside

Trossman (2006) stated that NDNQI data help nursing administrators and RN staff plan quality improvement activities, such as designing interventions that test nursing protocols and practices.

On the medical and surgical units at Parkview Hospital, NDNQI data is reported to the TCAB committee. TCAB stands for:
        T: Transforming
        C: Care
        A: At
        B: Bedside

TCAB is a committee meets once a month to discuss progress made on improving the quality patient care as noted through NDNQI data. TCAB pays special attention to many nursing sensitive indicators such as:
  • Safety and Reliability: Amount of falls
  • Patient Centered: Patients perception of care and discharge calls
  • Efficiency: Productivity and Controllable Cost Per Unit Service

Just like NDNQI, TCAB produces graphs and diagrams for medical and surgical units to show progress. Benchmarks are noted on each graph to illustrate goals. These easy references show the staff where they stand and how much they need to improve.

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To learn more about TCAB please visit this website.

NDNQI is Cost Effective

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NDNQI data is used to help improve the care of patients and the work environment of nurses to avoid costly complications.  

According to the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (2000), preventable health care-related injuries (such as falls, pressure ulcers, medication errors, ect.) cost the economy from $17 to $29 billion annually.

It is estimated that 44,000 to 98,000 people each year die from medical errors. This is higher than annual mortality rates from:

  • Motor vehicle accidents (43,458)
  • Breast cancer (42,297)
  • AIDS (16,516)

This makes medical errors the eighth leading cause of death in the United States (AHRQ, 2000).

Trossman (2006) informs us that NDNQI data also can be used for other budget requests. For example, if there is a high incidence of pressure ulcers on some units, nurse administrators can request specific equipment, such as pressure redistribution mattresses.