Increasing Group/Concurrent Communication for CNAs

By Mark Milligan, ADOR, Lake Pleasant Post Acute Care, Peoria, AZ
For my Capstone project, I created a new and improved group therapy sheet to help inform the CNAs on the patients that had group therapy that day.

We have had a lot of mishaps with registry CNAs getting patients up, ready and on time for their group therapy sessions during the week. When I brought the issue to their attention, they had a lot to say. Some registry CNAs told me that they were unsure of how the patient transferred and were unsure of which therapist to talk to because they didn’t know who was who. They were unsure of what time to have them up and ready by or when they should start the process of getting the patient up, seeing how some patients take longer than others. This was causing a lot of stress and more work for the therapist team and our core CNA group because they were having to help a lot more.

With this information, I wanted to create a system where there was little to no gray area when it came to getting our patients up and ready for group therapy. I wanted this new system to help our registry CNAs and our core CNA group as much as possible. I added four total boxes with six rows (one for each patient). Each row consists of a box where we can write in the patient’s room number, their transfer assist level, and what assistive device they use. I added the therapist’s name at the top so that the CNAs knew exactly who to contact if they had any questions or concerns. I also added the time at which the group would start. I put two boxes side by side and color-coordinated them to show a therapy team (PT/OT).

Typically, at Lake Pleasant, when one discipline determines a clinically appropriate group, the next discipline will run a group with most, if not all of the same patients. I would leave this new sheet at the nurse’s station next to the appointment sheet. I did this because the CNA’s often check the appointment sheet throughout the day to see when patients need to be up and ready to go. This would ensure that all of the CNAs would see our therapy list.

Implementing the spreadsheet has brought more efficiency to both our nursing and therapy teams, and as a result, our ability to deliver services in a group has increased. Some feedback I received from the CNAs was that they loved the new system. They expressed how it helped them to manage their time better and to go into a patient’s room confident in knowing how to transfer them safely. This system helped to build a better relationship between the CNAs and our therapy team simply by reducing any miscommunication between the two teams. A lot of the times, things happen due to the lack of communication between teams, and this sheet has helped to minimize that by showing our CNAs exactly what was needed.