Healthcare stakeholders in Saskatchewan recognize that a positive work environment is crucial to the retention and recruitment of nurses. If the conditions for the bedside nurse improve it will have a positive impact on the retention and recruitment of nurses. Outdated staffing systems are one source of inefficiency and discontent. Many such systems were established years ago under different circumstances. Studies have shown that patients experience fewer and less adverse events and shorter lengths of stay when the nursing resources are adjusted to meet their needs.
The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, the Saskatoon Health Region and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health have partnered to adapt a “Synergy Model” staffing plan for a unit at St Paul’s Hospital, a 200-bed acute care facility in Saskatoon.
- Developed by Martha Curley, the Synergy model considers eight universal patient characteristics: stability, predictability, complexity, vulnerability, resiliency, participation in care, participation in decision making, and resource availability.
- These indicators allow nurses to articulate patient characteristics and needs, to consider the impact on workload, and to determine the health care professional best suited to meet those needs.
- The model classifies patient needs and resulting workload impacts, creating a real-time communication tool for handovers and shift-to-shift reports and can be integrated into care plans, practice notes, and patient rounds.