The proposed idea is to create in the facility an electronic platform for nurses that will allow them to share practical advice and patient information, manage their schedules, and generally coordinate their work more effectively. The proposed name for the platform is Nursing Share. It will be built as an application compatible with web browsers and online devices, and the principle will be similar to that of social networking services.
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Nurses will be able to create and manage accounts; further, they will connect to each other and create topics for discussion, in which each nurse can post and comment. An additional function will be electronic scheduling that will not only allow nurses to track their shifts more easily but also help them propose modifications and quickly respond to changes in their schedules. Chatting will be enabled, too, and there will be different “rooms” in which nurses interested in one subject can exchange instant messages; for example, several nurses are involved in providing care to a particular patient, and they want to post updates on any progress in their work or share something they think other nursing care providers should take into consideration regarding a particular patient.
The target audience will be the facility’s nurses. It is expected that most of them are familiar with technologies and principles on which Nursing Share will be based; however, some may require more extensive training in case they do not regularly use social networking services or electronic systems. To ignite the audience’s interest and readiness to adopt the proposed change, the benefits should be clearly explained (see Benefits).
Recognized barriers include a lack of willingness to spend time learning how to use Nursing Share or spend time using the application; however, if the project team manages to initiate discussions in the app and to encourage nurses to use the app for their schedule-related needs and requests, it will be easier to attract the audience and eventually allow all the facility’s nursing care providers to make use of the application.
The need for such a platform as Nursing Care is explained by the necessity to find balance in making the work of nurses more efficient. On the one hand, it is acknowledged that nurses currently have multiple channels of communication through which they can exchange patient information or discuss their schedules. However, it is possible to create an integrated solution in which these various types of communication can be processed, and an electronic platform or an application is such a solution; there are many similar platforms available in the market; for example, some electronic health record systems can be used (Flemming & Hübner, 2013).
On the other hand, these solutions may be too complicated (e.g. have many functions that are redundant or inapplicable in the given facility), which is why buying and maintaining them may not be as profitable as creating a facility-specific application. Therefore, a major benefit of Nursing Share is that it is strictly targeted at the needs of the audience.
Another major benefit is that the system integrates various aspects of nursing communication into one platform. Many tasks, such as managing one’s schedule or having to share important information with other nurses, become easier as the nurses receive an opportunity to deal with them through one integrated platform. Finally, there is the benefit of promoting a favorable and cooperative workplace culture. For example, in Nursing Share, nurses will be able to share their concerns, such as stressful aspects of their work, and tell other nurses about their coping strategies. According to Happell et al. (2013), this practice and similar sharing practices can help improve the quality of nurses’ work.
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It is planned to build Nursing Share based on available development tools that facilitate the creation of applications for nurses (Williams, 2012). Therefore, the main portion of project costs will be comprised of the cost of software development. In case the facility’s IT resources are not sufficient, external development services should be sought, and it is expected to find such services at a rate of 30 USD per hour; the number of hours needed for development will depend on the provider’s estimation completed upon provision of technical specifications by the project team.
There will be additional costs associated with training, but they will constitute a minor portion of the budget. The budget will be finalized upon receiving professional estimation from development experts on how much time will be needed to build a Nursing Share.
The evaluation of the project’s success will be based on nurses’ performance and nurses’ feedback. Unit supervisors monitor nurses’ performance, and an increase in key indicators will be a sign of the effectiveness of Nursing Share. Feedback will be collected through surveying the facility’s nurses on the recognized benefits of the application, their experiences, and the strengths and weaknesses of the platform.
Positive feedback from at least two-thirds of the application’s users will be considered a success. Also, the overall quality of nursing care needs to be evaluated because it is initially planned to improve it through the use of Nursing Share; for this, various considerations, including such indicators of the quality of care as patient satisfaction (McHugh & Stimpfel, 2012), will be taken into account.
Feedback from the Unit Supervisor
Whether the proposal will or will not be approved depends on the initial criteria of submission. The proposal is well-structured, and relevant information can be found in appropriate sections, but it should be ensured that all the information required by the request for proposal is properly covered.
The strength of the proposal is that it explains how the work of nurses will be improved through the use of the proposed technology, and relevant sourced are cited to support the explanation. It is remarkable that the author referred to a comprehensive understanding of improvement in nursing work.
For example, it is not only stated that nurses will find it easier to coordinate their efforts and compose their schedules but also explored how the outcomes of the use of the proposed technology will be beneficial for the quality of care overall, including patient satisfaction. It is also a strong aspect of the proposal that the author considers the barriers to implementation that may arise due to the nurses’ established practices and their possible unwillingness to adopt new ones.
However, what can be regarded as the proposal’s weakness is the lack of precision in terms of resources. The applicant does explain that the budget cannot be finalized until proper estimation is provided by experts, but this can be found too vague by the funder’s reviewers.
It would be better to obtain an estimate, at least a preliminary one because for a person who does not know how much time developing software may take, it is unclear whether the project will take around a week or around a year. Also, the proposal could be improved by adding, if possible, a technical section in which all the functions of the proposed technology are explained; some of them are mentioned throughout the proposal, but perhaps it would be better if reviewers knew everything the technology will be able to do.
Flemming, D., & Hübner, U. (2013). How to improve change of shift handovers and collaborative grounding and what role does the electronic patient record system play? Results of a systematic literature review. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 82(7), 580-592.
Happell, B., Dwyer, T., Reid-Searl, K., Burke, K. J., Caperchione, C. M., & Gaskin, C. J. (2013). Nurses and stress: Recognizing causes and seeking solutions. Journal of Nursing Management, 21(4), 638-647.
McHugh, M. D., & Stimpfel, A. W. (2012). Nurse reported quality of care: A measure of hospital quality. Research in Nursing & Health, 35(6), 566-575.
Williams, J. (2012). The value of mobile apps in health care: Learn how mobile applications and technologies are improving quality of care, patient satisfaction, safety, and convenience—And reducing costs. Healthcare Financial Management, 66(6), 96-102.