Below are blogs from the RNO, if you have something to share email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Throughout my career in rural healthcare, I have been fortunate to discover (sometimes through trial and error) some of the most useful practice resources to improve my clinical and administrative practices. A prime example is the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Originally created in partnership with the American Medical Association, NGC offers healthcare providers and support organizations with objective, detailed guidelines for science-based research and best practices. NGC considers guidelines from all quarters of healthcare, but specific parameters must be met to be included into the guideline repository. AHRQ, in and of itself, provides a plethora of resources, some of which are specifically aimed at the challenges encountered in rural healthcare. As the ACA has specific requirements for reduction in hospital readmissions, organizations such as Boston University Medical Center has put forth a comprehensive discharge toolkit designed to assist organizations in improving rehospitalizations and educating patients to perform effective self-care out of the institutional setting.
Another comprehensive resource for rural organizations and clinicians is the Rural Assistance Center. The Center’s website offers a wide variety of resources aimed at the challenges experienced by rural healthcare organizations and clinicians. In conjunction with the American Hospital Association, the Center’s links and tools section presents resources for quality and patient safety in the rural setting and Health Information Technology (HIT) Meaningful Use latest guidance, practices, and quality indicators pertinent to the rural healthcare setting.
Of course, there are a myriad of resources available from the internet, but it is important that rural healthcare leaders and clinicians be discerning connoisseurs of what is considered “best practice” or “evidence-based”. As research opportunities may be sparse in rural healthcare, leaders in such settings must be willing to reach out within the industry to network with others to bring opportunities to their organizations and, subsequently, the bedside.
For more information on the resources discussed, please follow the attached links:
Catherine V. Belden, RN, DHSc, MSN, RNO Education Committee Chair
Last night was a special evening for myself, nurses, and future nurses interested in research in a rural area of upstate NY. The event was the “Nursing Research Evening” at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, NY. I was asked to be a speaker for this Nursing Research Evening with the talk entitled “A Nursing Research Trajectory to Improve Heart Health in Rural Women”, looking back at my own research trajectory in conducting research to help reduce CVD burden of rural populations and often focusing on the cardiovascular health or rural women. I had the pleasure of attending the poster session for nursing research prior to the dinner and met some dedicated and enthusiastic nurses and future nurses. The event was well attended, booked to capacity according to the planners. What impressed me was the enthusiasm and excitement about nursing research as nursing students, prelicensure as well as RN to BS,from Hartwick College of Nursing, presented their beginning endeavors in the area of nursing research; and the research being generated by practicing nurses, clinicians, educators and academicians from the Bassett Health Care System and surrounding areas. I would love to be able to bottle that enthusiasm and spread it to nurses at all levels of educational preparation and practice. We need to harness that enthusiasm and use it to move nursing practice forward. I believe it is especially critical in rural practice settings, where we need to make everything we do “count” to get the best outcomes for those served in the rural health care system. We as nurses need to be able to identify what works and does not work in our practice. We need to be able to implement evidence-based guidelines, but in the absence of evidence we need to create evidence and in my opinion, the best way to create evidence is through nursing research. As rural nurses, what I have coined “the consummate generalist” we need to be able to look at a clinical issue, identify what is the evidence for best care, where are the gaps, and if there are gaps how do we fill them. In my opinion the answer how do you fill gaps in evidence-based care is “Do research”
I believe it is critical to generate an appreciation for nursing research in practice, particularly in rural areas where resources may be scarce but the sense of community is strong. Understanding, using and being able to generate research in rural nursing is the best way for us as rural nurses to have a positive influence in the practice of rural nursing.