10 Creative Nursing Ideas that helped transform an entire health system

Where creative nursing ideas flourish.

How do you measure quality? Here at University of Utah Health Care, it’s not just reflected in our data and metrics. It’s the smile on a patient’s face. It’s a hug given freely to a family member in crisis. It’s nurses and physicians and researchers and administrators all working together to deliver an exceptional patient experience along with superior clinical outcomes. And it’s what we do, each and every day.

Transforming patient care.

Five years ago when we began this journey, University of Utah Health Care was an excellent medical center. But something was missing. Although we’d always provided outstanding care, our quality and patient satisfaction scores ranked us in the middle of the pack for academic medical centers. We knew we could do better—much better.

To drive transformation, our nursing department looked at everything we did through a single lens: the patient experience. From our professional practices to educational opportunities to physical spaces, everything was subject to change. And every change we made had to answer the ultimate question: Will it improve our patient care?

Five years later, the answer is yes. In addition to ranking #1 for most improved patient satisfaction, University of Utah Health Care is currently ranked #1 in quality among academic medical centers. We did it by thinking creatively, working together, and empowering every staff member from every level of the organization.

#1 in Quality

Developing creative
nursing ideas.

Some of the changes we made seemed too small to make an impact—like giving needy families a free meal. Others seemed too monumental to get approved—like building a multi-million dollar ICU. But when the idea was the right thing to do for the patient, we got it done. And with every change we made, something remarkable happened: our satisfaction numbers shot up, our operational costs went down, and our professional practice flourished.