From left: Sarah Thompson, Catherine Masse and Maureen Tapper discuss their research during a poster presentation.

Not only did Sarah Thompson (left) and Maureen Tapper (right) win funding during the Pitch Fest, but they also were honored for their poster, “A Lung Transplant Class: Improving Patient Care through Peer-to-Peer Education.” Additional authors for this poster are Catherine Masse (center), BSN, RN, PCCN, and (not pictured) Keri Townsend, PharmD, Karen Tsveybel, MSN, RN, CCTC, and Margaret Higgins, MSN, RN.

Following a high-energy pitch session before a live audience in Bornstein Amphitheater, two teams of nurses were named the winners of the inaugural Karsh Nursing Scholars Day “Pitch Fest” and received funding for novel initiatives designed to enhance care and the patient experience.

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During the May 30 event, five nursing teams proposed original ideas for innovative tools, services and technologies. The two winning initiatives, “ICU Diary” and “Just Hanging Around: Bedside Organization,” will each receive $2,500 in funding via the Lily Kravitz Nursing Studies Award.

The pitch session was the culmination of Karsh Nursing Scholars Day, which honored Brigham nurses’ contributions to research, innovation and patient care. The event was made possible thanks to the generosity and vision of Estrellita Karsh, a longtime friend of the Department of Nursing and the hospital. The half-day celebration featured a poster presentation, demonstrations displaying innovations in nursing practice and drop-in sessions with Brigham nurse-scientists.

Maddy Pearson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Clinical Services at Brigham Health, noted during the pitch session that the diversity and depth of research highlighted the creativity and dedication of Brigham nurses.

Nadia Raymond (right) discusses her study with Sandra Parent.

Nadia Raymond (right) discusses her study with Sandra Parent.

“We are finding new, innovative ways to improve care, and we’re leaving no stone unturned,” she said.

The ICU Diary project — presented by Caroline Galligan, BSN, RN, Sharon Levine, MSN, RN, CVRN, and Melanie Nedder, MSN, RN, CCRN-CMC, of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CCU) on Shapiro 9 East — will expand on a study the CCU conducted several years ago and implement diaries throughout all of the Brigham’s intensive care units to help patients remember their time in the hospital.

“Critical illness recovery is an emotional process,” said Nedder. “The ICU diary is a tool that fills gaps in patients’ recall of the ICU experience.”

Nedder and Galligan intend to roll out a diary prototype program by May 2020. They’re also designing comprehensive education for the ICU nursing staff who will implement the diaries at the bedside.

The Bedside Organization project — presented by Maureen Tapper, MSN, RN, PCCN, and Sarah Thompson, MSN, RN, CCNS, CWON, of the Thoracic Intermediate and Surgical Care Unit on Braunwald Tower 11ABD — proposed new and improved bedside organizers to hold patients’ call bells, mobile devices and other personal items.

Tom Tarbox and Debra Pelletier listen to a presentation.

Tom Tarbox and Debra Pelletier listen to a presentation.

“Currently, bedside tables are overused and not always accessible. Patients might not be able to find their call bells to get medication or go to the bathroom,” said Thompson. “There’s a potential for safety issues.”

Thompson and Tapper’s prototype is a single-use organizer that can safely attach to hospital-bed guard rails and stow valuables. These organizers will be piloted on Tower 11ABD, and staff will evaluate their effectiveness.

“This will improve patient satisfaction, care and safety, as well as help with loss prevention,” said Thompson.

Other innovative proposals featured during the event included a user-friendly iPad app to help lung transplant patients transition back to life at home, a bed-warming supply kit to improve infant care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a device designed to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections in cardiac surgery.