these are key goals of the Patient Care Practice Council (PCPC). Frontline staff and educators from unit-based councils form the majority of council members. They attend monthly meetings to provide updates on ongoing research on their units and to share ideas that lead to collaborative efforts with other Council members to develop and share best practices. The purpose of the PCPC is to assist in developing and sustaining a professional practice environment in which clinicians will retain and enhance influence over decisions that affect practice, professional development, self-fulfillment and the work environment.
"The Council provides a voice so that frontline staff can be heard," explains Pepper (Vicki) Haywood, RN, a staff nurse in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit and the current PCPC chair. "We've experienced increased attendance over the past year, and the great work that has come out of the Council during this period has helped us be a driving voice for changes in clinical practice. There has been a shift of focus so that frontline staff and educators attend Council meetings each month and administrators attend on a quarterly basis. The collaboration among frontline staff has led to several practice changes, such as a new standard for tracheostomy care all developed through interdisciplinary cooperation and evidence-based research and practice."
One of the Council's key goals for 2012 is to nurture the growth and development of the Unit Based Practice Councils (UBPC's). There are UBPC's on each inpatient unit as well as for the Emergency Center, the Vascular Access Team and Perioperative Services. The Council already has members who represent outpatient care areas and plans to strengthen outpatient representation this year through creation of an Outpatient Council.
"Our Patient Care Practice Council provides an excellent forum to discuss practice issues that impact care at the bedside," says co-chair Janeane Walker, MSN, RN, Advanced Education Specialist in the Clinical Education and Research Department. "It is a perfect place to engage frontline staff to start asking those important clinical questions. We encourage and challenge our members to utilize and incorporate evidence-based practice. The beauty of our Council at All Children's Hospital is that it is collaborative, for our team includes not only nurses, but representatives from rehab services, respiratory care, pharmacy, child life, case management and other programs, reflecting our multidisciplinary approach to care."
"The success of the Patient Care Practice Council is a direct result of our Chief Nursing Officer's passionate support of the concept of shared governance and empowering frontline staff to have ownership in their professional endeavors," adds Pepper.
Representatives of other councils and committees serve on the PCPC and share committee news, but the focus remains on the involvement of frontline staff in Council projects. The Medical Emergency Team Committee and Clinical Policy Team are subcommittees of the PCPC, and a new subcommittee has been added for 2012: the Nursing Peer Review Committee. Its role is to evaluate the quality and quantity of care as it is delivered by practitioners and look at how that care is consistent with established standards of practice. Kristina Burger, DNP, ARNP, Advanced Nursing Education Specialist in PICU, chairs this new subcommittee, having previously served as co-chair of the PCPC.
The next Patient Care Practice Council meeting will be held Monday, April 9th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in OCC A&B. Interested employees are invited to attend.