Colonel (Dr.) Sara Breckenridge-Sproat
US Army Regional Health Command Europe, USA
Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Nurs Care
Based on a commitment by Army Nurse Corps leaders to transform military nursing for the future, the Patient Caring Touch System (PCTS) was created and implemented in 2011. The PCTS is a comprehensive practice framework and a strategic plan for Army Nursing. There are five main elements that ground the PCTS: enhanced communication, capacity building, evidence-based practices, healthy work environments, and patient advocacy. The combination of these five elements is thought to produce the best patient, nurse and system outcomes. The PCTS was developed to foster excellence and reduce clinical quality variance by adopting a set of internally and externally validated best practices. In addition, the PCTS includes components such as talent management, standardized documentation and leadership development to re-focus on professional practice. Other components include shared accountability, peer feedback, care teams, core values, optimized performance metrics, skill building and research and evidencebased practice support services. Before innovations such as the PCTS are adopted and become self-sustaining, it is necessary to have a great deal of support and engagement from the staff and leadership. Although the PCTS has been implemented for several years now, the degree to which it has become embedded into the organizational culture of any Medical Treatment Facility has varied and projections for future sustainment are speculative.
Colonel (Dr.) Sara Breckenridge-Sproat, PhD, RN has a broad range of clinical, administrative, operational, research and leadership positions in a variety of acute care settings. She has been an Active Duty Army nurse for over 27 years and is currently the Regional Nurse Executive for Regional Health Command Europe. She has spoken internationally and published in the areas of nurse staffing, acuity, nursing workload, change management, organizational culture and empowering junior nursing staff. She is currently the Principal Investigator on a program evaluation appraising the effectiveness of key aspects of the Patient Caring-Touch system, a comprehensive and strategic, yet patient-centered, framework for nursing practice in military hospitals.
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