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Nursing Performance Database Hopes to Improve Quality

The American Nurses Association has created a review board to screen proposals from healthcare researchers who want to access its National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators.

The 15-member NDNQI Research Council has implemented a system for submitting research proposals online and for reviewing and scoring the proposals to determine if they meet the criteria for access to the data housed by NDNQI.

"The future direction of healthcare is decision-making based on evidence of what works best, and to have the evidence, you need to collect, compare, and report the nursing-sensitive data like NDNQI does," said ANA President Rebecca M. Patton, RN. "ANA is pleased to be able to open this valuable tool to highly-qualified researchers who will know how to identify and use the data they need to advance the profession of nursing and the quality of healthcare through their projects."

The NDNQI program collects data quarterly from nursing units at 1,500 participating hospitals, and evaluates the connection between the quality of nursing care and patient outcomes on measures, such as patient falls, infections, and hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. In any given quarter, more than 12,000 nursing units are reporting data, ANA said.

The NDNQI data also can be used to determine links between nurse staffing levels, nurse skill mix and patient outcomes, and to measure nurse satisfaction and the practice environment through surveys.

The council is co-chaired by Isis Montalvo, RN, the NCNQ's director, and Nancy Dunton, a research professor at the University of Kansas' School of Nursing and NDNQI's director since its establishment in 1998. The University of Kansas manages the NDNQI program under a contract with ANA.

Scientists and researchers can submit research proposals to the council for review through a submission process on the NCNQ Web site,