Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Final Projects
The Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Projects collection contains the completed works of students from the DNP Program at Arizona State University's College of Nursing and Health Innovation. These projects are the culminating product of the curricula and demonstrate clinical scholarship.
Diabetes, a common chronic condition, effects many individuals causing poor quality of life, expensive medical bills, and devastating medical complications. While health care providers try to manage diabetes during short office visits, many patients still struggle to control their diabetes at home. Lack of diabetes self-management (DSM) is a potential barrier for people with diabetes having to maintain healthy hemoglobin A1cs (HgA1c).
In hopes of addressing this concern, an evidenced-based intervention; diabetic education and phone calls, using the chronic care model as its framework was implemented. The intervention targeted people with type II diabetes at a transitional care setting. Measured variables included HgA1c and DSM. Statistically significant improvements were seen in reported physical activity. Average improvements were seen in HgA1c and DSM after three months of diabetes self-management education (DSME). Attrition, cultural sensitivity, and increasing DSME hours should be further evaluated for future projects.
Falls are prevalent among those aged 65 years and older and may result in minor to debilitating injuries in this vulnerable population. Frailty, unsteady gait, and medication side effects all contribute to fall risk as well as dementia, a type of cognitive impairment that disrupts memory and judgment leading to an underestimation of fall risk. Fall prevention evidence suggests that interventions aimed at decreasing fall rates begin with a fall risk assessment and tailored fall prevention measures that promote safety.
To examine the effectiveness of a fall prevention program in dementia care, an evidence-based pilot was conducted in a long-term care facility focused on dementia care. A convenience sample of 16 nurses received a fall prevention education intervention. A fall prevention knowledge instrument measured pre and post-fall prevention knowledge. There was a significant increase in fall risk knowledge from the pre-test (p < .001). The participants then conducted a fall risk assessment of 50 dementia patients using the Morse Fall Scale.
Of the 50 dementia patients, 28 were identified as high risk for falls. The nurses then instituted tailored fall risk prevention measures for those high risk for falls. As a result of the pilot, 40 fall events were noted within a three-month time period, reflecting a significant reduction in falls (p < .001) from the previous year. The institution of a fall prevention program in dementia care incorporating nursing education, a fall risk scale, and measures to promote safety can reduce fall risk in dementia patients.
Method: A single group pre-test post-test design was utilized to evaluate nursing staff knowledge before and after an education program on pressure injury prevention. Staff knowledge was evaluated using a modified version of the Pressure Ulcer Knowledge Assessment Tool 2.0. Participants completed pre- and post-education surveys. Rates of hospital acquired pressure injuries were obtained via chart review.
Results: Pre- and post-education scores were analyzed in participants who completed both surveys using a paired t-test. Post-education scores (M = 0.73, SD = 0.07) were significantly higher than pre-education scores (M = 0.59, SD = 0.09); t(7) = -5.39, p = .001. Pre- and post-education median scores of all participants were analyzed using two-tailed Mann-Whitney U test. Post-education scores (Mdn = 0.71) were significantly higher compared to pre-education scores (Mdn = 0.56); U = 102.5, z = -4.05, p = .001. Monthly incidence of pressure injuries on the unit increased following education.
Discussion: Increase in scores from pre- to post-education surveys indicate staff knowledge improved. The increased incidence of pressure injuries is thought to be secondary to staff’s increased ability to detect pressure injuries. Staff education is recommended, but more research is needed regarding the impact on pressure injury rates.
Background and Purpose: Over 30 million people in the United States (U.S.) have diabetes mellitus, which comprises about 9% of the population, and about 90% of individuals with diabetes have type 2 diabetes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2017). Adults with type 2 diabetes at a local internal medicine clinic were consistently having high glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) levels, demonstrated by data collected from the electronic health record (EHR), and there was no ordering process for referring patients to diabetes management education and support (DSMES) services. The purpose of this project was to improve glycemic control, demonstrated by lower HbA1C levels, and reach a diabetes education attendance rate of 62.5% at an internal medicine clinic in Chandler, Arizona.
Methods: An electronic health record (EHR) template was created and brief staff training was completed to connect patients with diabetes in the community to a local formal diabetes education program. HbA1C levels were measured before and three months after adults with education program. HbA1C levels were measured before and three months after adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) received physicians’ orders for a DSMES program, and rates of attendance to the program were calculated. Data was collected through the EHR and through feedback from the DSMES program. Descriptive statistics were used in data analysis.
Outcomes: The participants’ results did not demonstrate significant differences in pre-referral and post-referral HbA1C results after they were ordered DSMES services (p = .506). The proportion of education attendance (30%) was lower than the project goal of 62.5%, but increased from the clinic baseline.
Conclusions: EHR template implementation for referral to DSMES may increase rates of formal diabetes education and improve glycemic control. Larger sample sizes, longer project periods, alternative methods of communication, and increased follow-up of participants may be required to produce significant results.
Purpose: Implementation of a postpartum depression (PPD) screening while using evidence-based interventions to improve depressive symptoms, enhance breastfeeding (BF) self-efficacy, and strengthen the mother-infant dyad (MID).
Background and Significance: PPD is highly prevalent among women living in the United States and threatens the physical and psychological health of MIDs. Many of these women go undiagnosed and without treatment, further worsening symptoms and outcomes. This has inspired world healthcare leaders and organizations to address maternal mental health among postpartum women.
Methods: A 12-week evidenced-based project consisted of two-sets of participants including mothers and staff. A comprehensive maternal support program guided by an informational pamphlet (IP) and implementation of PPD screening using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale served as the two-part intervention for this project. Goals were to decrease PPD, enhance BF satisfaction, and strengthen the MID. Comprehensive maternal support encompasses interventions proven to meet the project goals and includes tailored BF education and care to maternal needs, social support by peer/family involvement, skin-to-skin contact during BF, emotion-regulation strategies, and availability of community resources.
Outcomes: The BSES-SF scores did result in statistical significance based on an alpha value of 0.10, t(3) = -2.98, p = .059, proving a positive effect was seen in breastfeeding self-efficacy post intervention. The results did not show statistical significance (t(3) = 0.60, p = .591) in regard to pre and post-depression scores. However, the mean pre-score (M =3.50, SD 3.11) did decrease post-intervention (M =2.75, SD 1.26) and exemplifies clinical significance.
Conclusion: The outcomes of this Quality-Improvement project showed improved scores for depression and BF self-efficacy post-intervention. This demonstrates the value in screening for PPD using a validated screening tool and instituting comprehensive maternal support guided by evidence-based practice in a community setting.
Antibiotics have contributed to the decline in mortality and morbidity caused by infections, but overuse may weaken effectiveness resulting in a worldwide threat. Antibiotic overuse is correlated with adverse events like Clostridium difficile infection, antimicrobial resistance, unnecessary healthcare utilization and poor health outcomes. Long term care facility (LTCF) residents are vulnerable targets for this phenomenon as antibiotics are one of the most commonly prescribed medications in this setting. Consequently, multiple organizations mandate strategies to promote antibiotic stewardship in all healthcare sites particularly LTCFs.
To address this global issue, this doctoral project utilized the Outcomes-Focused Knowledge Translation intervention framework to provide sepsis education, promoted use of an established clinical algorithm, and engaged a communication tool for nurses and the certified nursing assistants (CNAs) thus, improving antibiotic stewardship. The project was conducted in a 5-star Medicare-rated LTCF in Mesa, AZ with a convenience sample of 22 participants. The participants received a knowledge questionnaire and Work Relationship Scale pre- and post- intervention to determine improvement.
The results show that the education provided did not improve their knowledge with a p = 0.317 for nurses while p = 0.863 for CNAs over 8 weeks. Lastly, education provided did not improve the nurses’ Work Relationship p = 0.230 or for the CNAs p = 0.689. Though not statistically significant, the intervention tools are clinically significant. Additional research is needed to identify ways to determine barriers in implementing an antibiotic stewardship program.
Background: Healthcare providers are encouraged to prepare their practice to effectively manage the care of mild to moderate adolescent depression. Cost-effective screening, diagnostic, and newly developed pediatric primary care depression management guidelines have been established. To integrate guidelines into practice, primary care providers (PCPs) must document effectively to ensure a complete treatment plan is in place in the patient’s electronic health record (EHR).
Intervention: Elements from a flowsheet were implemented into the EHR to promote thorough assessment and documentation of care delivered to adolescents with depression.
Methods: An initial chart review was completed on patients diagnosed with depression. An updated depression template was implemented within the EHR for six weeks. A follow-up chart review was completed post-intervention to determine if documentation of elements from the adolescent depression guidelines improved after the EHR update. Pre-intervention and post- intervention surveys were delivered to PCP’s to understand their perspective on adolescent depression management.
Outcomes: The chart review revealed that baseline PHQ-9 screenings were documented in 91% (n=43) of the charts reviewed in the pre-intervention timeframe. Only 78% (n=7) of the charts reviewed during post-intervention included PHQ-9 screenings. Early intervention treatment options documented in the pre-intervention timeframe included education 100% (n=47), medication prescriptions 53% (n=25), and psychotherapy referrals 18% (n=18). During post- intervention, education 100% (n=9), medication prescriptions 78% (7), and psychotherapy referrals 22% (n=7) were documented by the PCPs.
Recommendation: The quality improvement project focused heavily on documentation completed over a one year pre-intervention timeframe compared to a six-week post-intervention timeframe. Further evaluation and chart review over the next year will provide a more adequate comparison of documentation within primary care practice.
Methods: At an urban primary care pediatric office located in the southwestern US, an educational quality improvement project for healthcare practice providers and front office staff was conducted to increase the utilization of the existing EMR-linked patient portal. The healthcare providers were asked to complete a pre- and post- survey evaluation of their knowledge and usage of the patient portal. Provider and patient portal data usage was collected over a five-month period, September 2019 to January 2020.
Results: Data was analyzed using the Intellectus Statistics softwareTM. Significant results were found at the conclusion of the project in the number of active patient portal users, web-enabled, portal logins, labs published/viewed, messages sent, appointment reminders and Santovia utilization. At the end of the project no significance was found with messages received by the healthcare providers or staff through the patient portal. Survey results found significant differences between pre- and post- portal usage. No significance was found on providers’ knowledge on how to web-enable patients. Providers’ also demonstrated no significant change in their perceptions of the benefit in utilizing the portal in patient care after the educational intervention. Survey results allowed for additional analysis of commonly utilized portal functionalities, disease or health topics utilized in Santovia, and suggestions on how to make the use of the patient portal easier for providers.
Implications for Health Care Providers: This quality improvement project found that implementation an EMR-linked patient portal requires a comprehensive practice approach with structured education sessions. Including all employees can improve patient portal utilization. This educational project resulted in significant increases in most portal functionalities within 5 months. Further practice change evaluations are needed to evaluate how to improve patient portal utilization with a larger group of participants in a variety of outpatient settings.
SolarSPELL is a digital learning library created at Arizona State University for
educational environments in the Pacific and East Africa. The library is curated to deliver information to resource-challenged communities around the world, providing culturally relevant materials in a solar-powered data repository. A new SolarSPELL health library was deployed in a border-adjacent community in Sonora, Mexico to enhance health education resources. The Sonoran SolarSPELL (SSS) library is a community-driven model established through Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) leadership and reflects the innovative focus of SolarSPELL.
The purpose of this report is to contextualize the Sonoran SolarSPELL experience, identify opportunities for process improvement and innovative leadership, and identify an evidence-based framework to guide implementation in new communities. Implementation framework utilization is especially important in the integration of technology into healthcare settings, where barriers can be novel and complex. Key focal points included the development of strong partnerships with the community members, collaborative design, and leadership roles of DNPs in project development and implementation. This study provides a paradigm for both DNP leadership and the application of innovative healthcare technologies in under-served communities throughout the world.