When the World Health Organization (WHO) designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in recognition of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday, it never could have imagined what nurses around the world would experience during that year. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO has extended the Year of the Nurse into 2021. Today, our country is celebrating National Nurses Day and kicking off National Nurses Week…which has been expanded to the entire month of May!
Nurses are front and center every day at Real Time Medical Systems, starting with the many nurses we support with our clinical analytics solution. In addition, nearly one-third of our employees are nurses, working in all aspects of our business from engineering to executive, account management to care coordination. Just as our solution was developed by a clinician, Founder & Executive Chairman Dr. Scott Rifkin, it has been continually enhanced thanks to the valuable insights from our team of nurses. They offer a relatable, in-depth clinical perspective on what our customers need, having walked in their shoes.
As we approached National Nurses Day, we heard from a number of our nurses about their pre-Real Time experience, and how they use their nursing skills now. They also shared the value of our solution from a nursing perspective – and had some advice for nurses entering the field or looking to expand their clinical expertise.
Critical Thinking Applies in Any Setting
Our nurses agree that critical thinking is the skill that has served them best, both in prior clinical settings and now at Real Time. Jim Shearon, RN, BSN, MHSA and our Vice President of Clinical Solutions, says critical thinking helped our solution evolve to where it is today. “Lessons learned from the many challenges I faced – and mistakes I made – as a post-acute nurse, and how I addressed them, were built into our product. Nurses are creatures of habit, but also must constantly put out fires. We’re trying to help them get in front of concerns before they become problems.”
Clinical Executive Account Specialist Cindy Kreider, RN, BC, RAC-CT, notes that having worked in roles from LTC housekeeper to director of nursing to MDS coordinator to chief nursing officer, critical thinking continues to define her approach. “With experience in and knowledge of both the clinical and reimbursement sides, I’m able to connect the dots for our customers. I love helping them find creative ways to make their jobs easier.”
Clinical Account Manager Kimberly Snyder, RN, BSN, points to her work at Real Time as a natural extension of both her hospital and PAC experience. “There are innovators in all parts of healthcare, helping nurses who have to wear multiple hats. You can’t be afraid to use critical thinking, whether at the bedside or developing technology.”
Making a Tough Job Easier with the Right Data
As they consider the patients, residents, and healthcare providers we’ve been able to help with our interventional analytics solutions, our nurses are excited by – and a bit jealous of – the live, actionable clinical insights our nurse customers receive straight from their EHRs. Business Analyst Debbie Martin, RN, RAC-CT says we rapidly reveal important details about the clinical status of patients. “To me, the time savings we give nurses is the leading benefit of our solution. So much of the data that I spent time searching for in long-term care are right there for them to see, in real-time. From deciding who needs immediate attention, to improving infection prevention and control, their process is streamlined and so much easier.”
Care Coordinator Courtney Dupcak, whose experience includes the ED and hospice, agrees that our solution helps nurses more quickly identify patients who may be in trouble. “Before, they had to spend so much time putting all the pieces together to form good clinical decisions. Health care will always be busy, but Real Time is a game-changer for them. It allows them to pinpoint alerts, and even helps them determine if it’s time to discuss palliative care.”
Jim Shearon, now in his 25th year as a nurse and one of our first employees, calls the Real Time solution a “virtual director of nursing.” “It enables caregivers to focus sooner on the right resident at the right time, something they could never achieve in the paper records world or even searching an EHR. They see the clinical outliers, allowing them to stay ahead of the game.”
Phyllis Wojtusik, RN, our Executive Vice President for Health System Solutions, likes how our solution changes post-acute EHRs from static data repositories to valuable active resources for nurses. “A certain number of patients or residents will always be high-risk, so being able to identify and address them with current information drives better care management and outcomes.”
Kim Snyder calls our solution “cutting edge,” saying, “It would have helped me know where and how to start my shift, by prioritizing the people who need immediate attention.”
Keep Your Options Open
Both Debbie Martin and Courtney Dupcak still pick up shifts in their local nursing home and hospital respectively – once a nurse, always a nurse. They love putting on their clinical hats and contributing to the communities we serve. Some of our nurses have a few words of wisdom for nursing students or nurses who wonder what else is out there for them:
- “I chose nursing because it offers so many ways to use your skills, from the bedside to forensics to technology. It is scary to take a plunge into a brand new situation, but don’t be afraid to do it!” – Kim Snyder
- “Seize every opportunity you can to gain new experience, as it’s something you’ll always take with you.” – Cindy Kreider
- “Don’t hesitate to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Embrace technology, too – it will never replace you, but it sure can help you.” – Jim Shearon
Florence Nightingale would be in awe of the many ways nurses are contributing to our healthcare system. We recognize their devotion and hard work, and thank our nurse customers, our nurse employees, and all nurses – not only today, this week and this month, but all the time. Whatever avenue you’ve chosen, you’re making a difference!
Three Cheers to ALL Our
Real Time Nurses!
Cheryl Scalzo, RN
Cindy Kreider RN, BC, RAC-CT
Courtney Dupcak, RN
Danielle Beres, RN, BSN
Debbie Martin, RN, RAC-CT
Di Smalley, RN, MPH, FACHE
Lisa Boris RN, RAC-CT
Jim Shearon RN, BSN, MHSA
Katie Brickey, RN
Kimberly Snyder, RN, BSN
Kristina Marquez, RN, CHPN, CCM
Lindsey Ford, RN
Phyllis Wojtusik, RN
Rachel Canavan, RN, PCCN