2005 BAYADA Award Winners

Education Innovation Award Recipient

Elizabethe Westgard, RN, MSN

Intelligent Pens for Nursing Faculty and Students

Elizabethe Westgard, a nursing educator at the Eastern Center for Arts and Technology in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, has introduced the use of intelligent pens as a technological tool to assist nursing faculty and their students.
Using the capability of intelligent pens to scan and store information, Ms. Westgarde has changed the traditional method of patient data collection from a time-consuming, hand-written process frought with the possibility of error to a time-condensed, highly accurate process, giving students much needed time to spend on creation of nursing care plans derived from the collected information.

Ms.Westgarde has found the dictionary and translation functions to be essential for those learning a new medical vocabulary. The audible pronunciation function provides faculty and students immediate assistance in their ability to communicate with non-English speaking patients. Students may also utilize the translation function to make use of research written in languages other than English.

This innovative use of intelligent pen technology provides faculty and students alike with a mechanism to support and enrich situated learning, and to support cultural competency by enhancing communication with patients who speak languages other than their own. This use of technology has provided faculty with the ability to make the most of the teachable moment by bringing resources to the bedside which enrich the learning environment and support the students' development. 

Practice Innovation Award Recipient

Joan A. McInerney, RN, MSN, BC, CWOCN

Pressure Ulcer Reduction Project

Joan McInerney, a Wound, Ostomy and Continence (WOC) nurse at NCH Healthcare Systems in Naples,Florida, received this award for innovative use of an already established technology. She used the existing hospital-wide electronic medical record system to integrate a new application to assist in the reduction of an identified clinical issue - pressure ulcers.

Ms McInerney and her team developed a series of computer screens used by nurses in their electronic charting. As a part of their daily patient assessment, nurses answer a series of questions about skin condition designed to generate automatic alerts to the Wound, Ostomy and Continence nurses. Utilizing a number of "red flags", such as a Braden Scale for Risk of Pressure Ulcers score less than13, an order for a ventilator, and a BMI greater than 50, WOC nurses receive computer-generated messages to provide a consult and institute appropriate interventions.

Ms McInerney's system uses technology to eliminate any steps that could be left to chance - she has recognized the true value of automation versus standard memory-based practice. Ms. McInerney has used the system to lead every process involving pressure ulcers, from prevention to treatment to collection of outcomes data.

Over the past three years, Ms. McInerney's health care facility has experienced a 74% reduction in overall hospital-acquired pressure ulcer prevalence and and 85% reduction in heel ulcer prevalence, a remarkable achievement, and a wonderful example of how the collaboration of nursing and technology can improve patient outcomes.