By Susan Arnold

 

 

Stacy Jones, BSN, RN is a staff nurse in the Perioperative Services division at Mercy Health in Cincinnati. 

 

Her compassion and commitment to exceeding expectations for her patients has garnered her a nomination – and now finalist status – for The Health Collaborative’s 17th Annual Richard M. Smith MD Leadership in Quality Improvement Award.

So many wonderful things could be written about Stacy, among them her passion for her patients and her care for our community. Numerous examples can be found in the special interest she has shown in those patients who come to surgery regularly as part of paracentesis protocols. One such patient arrived for surgery from a nursing home in soiled clothing, and Stacy advocated for this patient and convinced leadership to purchase new clothing for the patient to wear home. She has even driven to a surgical patient’s home, post-surgery, to personally see that their forgotten dentures were returned.

 

Additionally, Stacy recently worked with another team member to coordinate a back-pack school supplies drive for children attending Fairfield Community Schools. She also serves as the Chair of Mercy Health’s Clinical Council, and continually looks for ideas to improve the morale and work-life balance for her entire unit.

 

After her father was recently diagnosed with cancer and was required to receive a port-a-cath, Stacy researched ways to help cancer patients be more comfortable after their multiple procedures. As a result, Stacy began making “Port Pillows,” designed to attach to a patient’s seatbelt to prevent pressure from being applied on the newly-inserted port. Each Port Pillow comes with a card that reads:

“Ports can make IVs more convenient and neat / ‘Til you get in your car and you sit in your seat
You buckle your seatbelt and it hurts quite a lot / ‘Cuz the strap hits the port-a-cath’s very same spot
So here is a pillow you put on your seatbelt / To cover your port, so less pressure is felt
Now wrap the loops around your seatbelt, with the pillow towards your chest / Know we are praying and wishing you the very best!”

 

Stacy crafts each Port Pillow by hand in order to provide some welcome relief during this most difficult time. Stacy also worked with a surgery nurse who had undergone a mastectomy to make a seat belt cover, like the Port Pillow, to help reduce her post-op discomfort, allowing her to travel to and from chemo and radiation treatments with less pain. Her innovative and creative spirit is yet another aspect that is loved and admired!

 

This year, with three of her team members battling breast cancer, providing an excellent work environment was extremely important to Stacy. She became instrumental in developing a positive work environment for her peers: survey respondents in 2018 reported 61% engaged staff, and 2019 numbers for engaged staff rose to 84%. Their turnover rate is also a low 3.7% for this same time period.

 

The improvement in these numbers is due in part to an acknowledgement system that recognizes those employees who deliver outstanding care. Stacy helped initiate this system by creating a recognition board to highlight staff who go above and beyond in service to Mercy’s patients. With Stacy facilitating, the peri-op team, including housekeeping partners, also began meeting off site for “painting parties,” jewelry-making, and concerts in the park. Collaboration and communication statistics also soared 25 points from the previous survey, further demonstrating the impact her leadership has had within the unit and other collaborative ancillary departments.

 

The overall spirit and teamwork within the unit has improved through Stacy’s continued advocacy and invaluable leadership across the healthcare team.

 

The Health Collaborative is thrilled to congratulate Stacy Jones, BSN, RN on her award finalist status and outstanding leadership in Quality Improvement!

 

Watch for more articles profiling the work of our award finalists throughout October, as we lead up to the 2019 Inspire Healthcare Dinner and Awards Celebration.