Welcome Letter


Welcome to the 2016 Spectrum Health Grand Rapids Nursing Annual Report. My hope is that this will instill a sense of pride for being a nurse at Spectrum Health. At the same time, I hope that it instills a sense of restlessness and curiosity. What can we do better? What must be standardized in our care? What can I do to ensure that I provide the safest care to our patients? These are questions that must permeate the foundation of our practice to ensure that we continue to improve the health of the community that we serve.

Spectrum Health has embarked on a once-in-a-generation transformation through our NEXUS initiative. NEXUS is much more than implementation of the Epic electronic health record. Our NEXUS journey will transform our model of care. Merriam-Webster defines transformation as “a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance”. Becoming the “next us” replaces what is with something completely new by designing and implementing a new state. Our future state is emerging as we follow the guiding principle of a single patient story to achieve integrated care across the delivery system. Additionally, there is inclusion of evidence based practice to reduce variation and improve outcomes while offering a consistent exceptional experience through patient-centered care. Improved access to patient information will result in higher quality, safer patient care across the health system.

Coupled with Epic is Elsevier’s Clinical Practice Model, which Spectrum Health will concurrently adopt during the Nexus transition. Key features of the Clinical Practice Model facilitate evidence-based practice and interprofessional care. Evidence-based practice is supported through the use of embedded Clinical Practice Guidelines to support decision-making and care delivery. An interprofessional collaborative practice model leverages the expertise of multiple professionals to drive a patient-centered plan of care through integrated competency.

As the largest group of health care professionals, nurses are expected to drive their practice to achieve optimal outcomes for patients and the organization. Patient-centered care requires collaboration from the entire inter-professional team for the most effective coordination of care. Transformation impacts people personally and requires involvement to garner support and engagement. New mindsets and behaviors are required.

In reflecting on the previous year, we’ve had many excellent outcomes such as a 72% reduction in misidentification of specimens in the Butterworth ED, as a result of interdisciplinary collaboration to improve practice and efficiency. While quality has its foundation in data to demonstrate our outcomes, quality work is really all about our patients and staff. Nurses at all levels play an integral role in achieving quality outcomes.

Thank you for your efforts and contributions. I applaud your professional commitment, patient focused approach and many accomplishments as Spectrum Health Grand Rapids nurses. Together we will make a difference for our patients, colleagues and community.

Shawn Ulreich, DSc, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
Chief Nurse Executive/Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations
Spectrum Health Hospital Group