President's Circle Honoree: Lauren Vazquez, MSN, RN, PCCN

Clinical Practice Improvements, or CPIs, are a hallmark of patient care in hospitals such as ours. They help us enhance the quality of care we provide, increase safety standards and improve the patient experience.

One such CPI that was recently implemented at our hospital came about through the keen eye and inquisitive nature of Lauren Vazquez, MSN, RN, PCCN, a nurse on Telemetry Unit 3, Stations 2 and 3, since 2015. Lauren is a longtime member of our Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC) family. She spent three years as a College Volunteer in our Emergency Department and came back to us after receiving her nursing degree and license.

Last year, as she was working on a pharmacy project, Lauren realized the opportunity to eliminate redundancy in a clinical practice associated with insulin double checks.

The double check protocol, which has been the norm in many hospitals for decades, meant that each time a nurse needed to administer insulin to a patient they would need to undergo a process that required another nurse to witness and sign off on the computer order.

Lauren went home to look at current research studies on the practice and found that most institutions agreed that the double checks were inefficient and did not prevent medication errors.

She soon sent out a proposal to conduct a pilot study to a number of Hospital committees, including the Medication Safety Committee and the Diabetes Clinical Resource Team.

Once she received approval, the study began. From May to June of 2018, nurses in one of our Telemetry units did not use the double check practice and were held accountable for their own insulin administration.

At the end of the study, they not only found that the elimination of double checks had no adverse effects on medication administration, but it also resulted in better compliance with the timing of the delivery of insulin to patients. It also increased the overall satisfaction of the nurses, since they did not have to spend time asking and waiting for another nurse to sign off on their insulin administration.

Just a couple months later, in August 2018, they introduced the new policies for insulin checks to our Associates – and we’ve had even better feedback from our nursing team since then.

Looking back, Lauren says she was compelled to conduct the study because she felt passionate about using the research and critical thinking skills she developed in school to make a difference to our patients and nursing team.

We are so proud of Lauren’s efforts on this project. She is a champion for New Ideas, Growing Continuously and Customer Satisfaction. We can’t wait to see what other ideas she will bring to our Hospital and patients.

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