At the forefront of improving care

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center nurses are actively involved in quality improvement, with the goal of enhancing care for all of our patients. From new graduate nurses to experienced nurses, everyone is encouraged to share their ideas for ensuring our patients receive the best of care.

Modernizing our Hospital

Pav.jpgNorthern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has expanded from a single-family home on the banks of the Penobscot River to a multi-building campus housing some of the most advanced healthcare services, not just in Maine, but in the entire country. In response to the needs of our community, we recently modernized our hospital campus with a focus on the healthcare demands of infants, new mothers, those who depend on expert surgical and cardiac care, and more.

The new building includes the latest technology and was designed with the needs of patients, nurses, and other staff in mind. Nursing staff are active with various teams to make sure the transition to the new space is safe and smooth. Our nurses have contributed many hours of time and attention to assist with the planning, design, and development of the project, including participating in a research study with the University of Rhode Island to simulate safety scenarios in preparation for a transition to a new space.

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most-wired-2017.jpgTechnology is improving the efficiency of care delivery and creating a new dynamic in patient interactions. We are a member of Northern Light Health, which was awarded 2017 HealthCare’s Most Wired® from the American Hospital Association. Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is leading the way by introducing new, interactive technology that benefits patients in the newly built Penobscot Pavilion. Our CareAware Connect provides nurses with immediate notice of alerts and alarms right on hospital-owned smartphones, wherever they are on the unit.

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Since 2012, our nurses, physicians, and clinical support staff have participated in enhancing patient safety program born out of safety protocols in the airline industry. This staff-driven initiative allows participants to create new, hardwired safety tools that enhance communication and streamline information systems that improve patient safety measures. With participation from our nurses, the program has improved processes that resulted in safer care in many areas of the hospital.

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Our nationally certified programs for hip and knee and stroke care show a commitment to continuous performance improvement, providing high quality patient care, and reducing risks. We have three disease specific certifications from the Joint Commission; Primary Stroke Center, and Centers of Excellence for Total Hip Replacement, and Total Knee Replacement.

Each certification recognizes our organization’s distinct achievement in delivering evidence-based care and the opportunity to keep pushing ourselves to provide better for our patients. Nurses working with these patients can expect a standardized approach to care, therefore reducing variation and errors. This structure provides a framework for consistency of care to improve patient outcomes.

Both programs have a registered nurse coordinator who is involved in all aspects of patient care and provides support and continuing education to the nursing staff. Nurses play an integral role in our Stroke and Joint Care teams and their continued success.

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Nurses are leading the way in developing a new shared governance model, with a goal of achieving safe, efficient, effective care in a healthy work environment and a focus on professional practice, quality, and competence.

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With a strong recruiting effort in place throughout Maine, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has expanded its search for experienced, qualified nurses from other parts of the country and beyond. Eastern Maine Medical Center partners with a highly regarded recruitment firm specializing in connecting experienced English-speaking nurses with hospitals throughout the country.

Because of the extensive screening and interviewing process, and in-depth cultural and community support, our international nurses have thrived at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. They have become an integral part of the care team and their experience and knowledge are highly valued by staff and patients.

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Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center nurses participate in Transforming Care at the Bedside, a collaborative sponsored by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Goals include improving quality and safety, engaging and improving patient and family member's experience of care, enhancing the effectiveness of the entire care team, and increasing the vitality and retention of nurses. The program is designed to engage frontline staff in identifying barriers to quality patient care and then developing solutions to quickly overcome those problems.

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For more than 30 years, Northern Light Surgical Weight Loss has been helping people reshape their lives through education, access to state-of-the-art surgery for weight loss, and a strong support network. 

Our nursing staff assists with more than 200 bariatric patients a year. All of the nurses and nurse technicians are specially trained, competent, and well versed in the care and needs of surgical weight loss patients. Each year, all staff members complete special training in order to ensure they understand best practice recommendations for the care of patients who have undergone bariatric surgery. 

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Our nurses are continually working to improve the quality of patient care and the workplace environment to ensure a culture of quality. 

Quality improvement projects currently underway include:

  • Hand Hygiene: An Educational Program to Improve Practices

  • Teach-Back: Will Education of a Teach-Back Tool to Registered Nurses Increase Their Willingness to Implement the Tool?

  • Sideboards: A Multi-Pronged Educational Approach to Increase Usage

  • Hourly Rounding in Conjunction with Bed Alarms on the Night Shift: Do Fall Rates Decrease?

  • Fall Prevention: Are Wristbands an Effective Strategy?  

  • Music Therapy: Do Nurses know the Benefits in Post-Operative Patients?

  • Bedside Reporting: Are we Consistent and Does it Increase Nurse Satisfaction when Compared to Phone Call Reporting?

  • Revisiting Pain Control of Oncological patients. What Do Nurses Know and Practice?

  • Code Status: What are the Methods of Notification and What do RNs prefer?

  • Implementing a New Fall Scale: Does using the Morse Fall Scale Result in Fewer Falls When Compared to the Conley Fall Scale?

  • Locked Medication Bedside Storage Units: Does Their Use Improve Registered Nurse Satisfaction?

  • Will education of Progressive Mobility Protocols Increase their Usage?

  • Revisiting Fall Prevention through Education to Reduce Patient Fall Rates

  • Patient Hand-Off Tool between the ED and ICU: Perceptions of Current Practices that Lead to a Hand-Off Tool

  • Revisiting 4-Eyed Skin Assessments: Improving Staff Education

  • Can Better Education about the Patient Search Policy Improve Perceptions of Nurse Safety?

  • Hourly Rounding on the Night Shift: Does it Prevent Falls and Increase Staff Satisfaction?

  • Teaching Workplace Incivility Educational Strategies to New Graduate Nurses: Is this Helpful?

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