Website spotlight: Communicating heart health education to staff

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 1, 2011

Shelley Lockard, RN, BSN, physician marketing coordinator at Indiana (PA) Regional Medical Center (IRMC), first encountered the HeartCaring® program, which she now coordinates, by finding a note on her desk telling her that it was to be one of the facility's newest programs. A nurse with clinical background in cardiac care, Lockard was charged with finding a way to maximize the potential of the women's cardiac health education program.

Participation in the HeartCaring program, a cardiovascular extension of the Spirit of Women® national program, was intended to allow IRMC to provide evidence-based cardiovascular education to its community members through many consumer events. Since initiating the program in 2008, IRMC has designated 12 HeartCaring physicians and their office staffs.

Because of successful community outreach events and positive feedback from physicians, the facility now has a waiting list of interested clinicians to be educated. To increase its capacity to reach more primary care physicians and hospital staff with the curriculum, and to assist in efficiently updating care providers, IRMC needed a strategy to maximize educational outreach, explains Lockard. Disrupting busy physician practices for designations and finding time to educate direct care staff at convenient times has been a great challenge, she says.

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