Making the Case for Supporting Nurse Competency with Jane

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

Healthcare organizations have long been tasked with figuring out how to do more with less, which has become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have now reached a situation where every healthcare leader has a great responsibility to be resourceful.

A Unique Need for Efficiency and Development in Healthcare

The need to be efficient is not limited to healthcare, but there are other ways in which healthcare is unique. One significant example is the nursing profession. Nurses start their careers as nurses, and many finish their careers with the same title. Being a nurse means you don’t advance out of your job into another like in a corporate environment, putting extra pressure on healthcare providers to find creative ways to engage and develop staff—nurse retention and maintaining care quality depend on it. Another difference in healthcare and nursing specifically is the span of control. It’s not uncommon for nurse managers to have over 40 direct reports, making it challenging to ensure their nurses are engaged and consistently providing competent care.  Multiple locations, temporary staff, and other factors can further complicate the nurse manager’s relationships with their direct reports.

Nurse Competency Management That Supports Organizational Goals

Understanding the conditions above, Jane® was developed by HealthStream to meet three important goals:

  • Save time for nurse managers and nurses, a very precious resource
  • Help healthcare organizations’ efforts to personally engage staff with individualized development plans
  • Easily document and prove competence of the nursing staff

Jane® achieves these goals by (1) measuring knowledge, through assessments that identify individual development opportunities, and (2) assessing critical thinking, through an interactive chat exercise about patient scenarios, leveraging IBM Watson and artificial intelligence. For the latter, candidates are measured on problem identification, clinical observation, clinical actions, and prioritization.

Driving Nurse Development Plans

An important distinction is that Jane® plays a development role, rather than a punitive one. Its main objective is to identify the areas where clinicians need assistance, creating personalized development plans for improving competency. At a macro level, it can help organizations identify their areas of greatest risk and help them determine where to concentrate. As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded, many healthcare providers have needed to expand staff in areas caring for those stricken by the virus. Jane has been instrumental in helping determine the cross-training needed to get clinicians ready to work in new care departments. Not only does the tool identify who needs extra education and who doesn’t, but it helps save time and money that would have been involved in a traditional development format where the entire team is blanketed with the same training assignment.

Jane’s validated competency development framework is built from millions of data points about nurse competency, including scoring and insights from HealthStream acquisitions NurseCompetency and PBDS. To validate the accuracy of Jane, 224 chat conversations processed by Jane were also sent to highly qualified raters. In 83% of the cases, the test raters agreed with Jane’s AI-driven findings. Importantly, Jane’s competency database will expand and continue to be refined by design as the system is used more broadly.

Three Pilot Program Examples of Jane’s Value for Healthcare Organizations

Three findings during pilot projects demonstrate some of the value that organizations can realize from using Jane®:

  • One organization estimated that it saved $280 per nurse assessment, in terms of reduced learner and educator time involved. Reductions in CLABSI and CAUTI were also identified among patients after staff completed training assignments.
  • Jane allowed another customer to more quickly transition nurses into new care areas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • When assessing new graduate nurses, a customer with multiple facilities identified variation among candidates across locations in their degree of preparation for their roles. As a result, the organization knew where to approach local educational institutions about strengthening nurse training programs.

This blog post is based on HealthStream’s recorded webinar, Building a Case for Jane® Competency, presented by HealthStream’s Trisha Coady, BSN, RN, SVP and General Manager of Clinical Solutions, and Joseph Caracci, MBA, BSN, RN, AVP of AI Clinical Solutions.

As our flagship clinical development solution, HealthStream’s Jane® is the World’s First Digital Mentor for Nurses. Jane® harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to create a system that personalizes competency development at scale, quickly identifies risk and opportunity, and improves quality outcomes by focusing on critical thinking. Leveraging decades of research and with over 4 million assessments completed, Jane® was designed to power lifelong, professional growth of clinical professionals.