RIH OR Nurses Earn Clinical Excellence Award

December 1, 2017

Rhode Island Hospital’s operating room nursing staff was recently recognized by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) with a “Committed to OR Excellence Award” (CORE), receiving the honor’s gold-level designation. According to AORN, “The AORN CORE Award recognizes the individual perioperative unit(s) that distinguishes themselves by improving every aspect of perioperative patient care.”

Gold-level designation indicates evidence of excellent and sustained unit performance and patient outcomes. One award is granted nationally each year, and the designation is valid for three years.

The national award is the result of careful review by AORN of Rhode Island Hospital’s application, a process that requires self-evaluation and extensive description of the perioperative unit’s practices in six areas, including:

  • Leadership structures and systems
  • Appropriate staffing and staff engagement
  • Effective communication
  • Knowledge management, learning and development
  • Evidence-based practice and processes
  • Outcome measurement

One notable element to Rhode Island Hospital, which boosted performance in several of these areas, is the hospital’s onboarding program developed to suit the individual needs of new staff, from novice nurses to experienced RNs changing their area of practice.

The program also pairs long-time OR nurses with all medical students, physician assistant students and nurse practitioner students to ensure consistent, aseptic practice and the highest quality of care. The Rhode Island Hospital OR is also hoping to partner with local colleges to give nursing students OR experience in addition to the usual practicum on medical and surgical floors.

“Our whole education plan is based on national safety goals,” says Joyce Smith, RN, BSN, MBA, education coordinator for perioperative services at Rhode Island Hospital. “We try to be unique and novel with educational delivery, which in turn ensures that every patient gets the highest quality and safest clinical care possible.”

Rhode Island Hospital scored a perfect 450 score in the outcome measurement section of the AORN review, which is exceedingly rare.

“Rhode Island Hospital undoubtedly boasts some of the best nursing care in the state,” said Barbara Riley, DNP, senior vice president and chief nursing officer for Rhode Island Hospital. “Designations like this further demonstrate that our nurses, and the strength of the nurse leadership and education on our units, are among the best in the country.”

“Across the country, hospital facilities continuously strive to provide consistent, high quality patient care and it is important they be recognized for their achievement,” said Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN, Executive Director/CEO of AORN. “The CORE Award is a testament to Rhode Island Hospital’s clinical experience and their commitment to their patients and staff.”

A full description of the award criteria can be found in the CORE Award handbook on the AORN website.

Christina Spaight O'Reilly

Rhode Island Hospital