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Mélanie Verdon Quality Committee Acute care Of ANQ - Prevalence Measurement

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Mélanie Verdon, MSc in Nursing, has responsibility for research and nursing quality at the Nursing Directorate of Geneva University Hospital (HUG)

Mélanie Verdon, you are a member of the ANQ Quality Committee for Falls and Pressure Ulcers (QA Prevalence Measurement). How long have you been a member of this committee?

The ANQ Board elected me to the QA Prevalence Measurement Committee in 2019. I took over from my colleague who had represented HUG on the QA Committee for many years. Intensive care nursing is my field of expertise, but the topic of pressure ulcers has always interested me, and it was also the subject of the thesis that I wrote to obtain my Master of Science in Nursing. My ANQ involvement enables me to take a closer look at the specific issues again.

What is important to you in this regard?

All parts of the country must be represented on national committees if these committees are to make the right decisions. I am absolutely convinced this is necessary. So I consider it my job to make the «slightly different voice from the French-speaking part of Switzerland» heard. It is also important to me to bring the significant role played by nurses more to the fore. Prevalence measurement demonstrates that the calibre of the nursing care provided is an important factor that is central to the quality of any hospital.

«The calibre of the nursing care provided is an important factor that is central to the quality of any hospital»

Do you benefit personally from being on the ANQ committee?

I find networking with QA members to be very valuable. In our discussions, we repeatedly discover fascinating differences in terms of organisation, working methods, infrastructure or financial and political framework conditions, for example. As a representative of a university institution, I also address issues that differ from those of other institutions. This diversity means that there is a rewarding exchange of insights.

«The diversity of the ANQ committee means there is a rewarding exchange of insights.»

What aspects were the focus of QA prevalence measurement in 2020?

A lot of things were different in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. One QA meeting had to be held online, for instance. The main emphasis this year was again on the organisation of the measurement day – which unfortunately had to be cancelled at short notice due to the pandemic – as well as the evaluation and publication of the 2019 measurement results. We also dealt with the future development of the measurement process. Key issues included better use of routine data and privacy.

How significant is prevalence measurement for HUG?

It is very significant – this is evident from our use of personnel. More than 100 qualified nurses and management staff are on duty on each measurement day. Had the 2020 measurement day not been cancelled, we would have carried it out in 65 nursing wards, representing more than 1,000 beds. Our measurement supervisor starts the preparations in spring each year. This includes recruiting and training nurses, as well as providing multilingual information to patients, for example.

ANQ published the 2019 pressure ulcer and fall rates in 2020. How do you use the national comparison report?

As a QA member, I look at the wider picture. Our measurement officer at HUG, on the other hand, is mainly interested in hospital-specific results, as well as rates at the other university hospitals for purposes of comparison. The results provide us with important input; on the one hand they confirm that the measures we have already initiated are appropriate, while on the other they trigger new projects.

How do you think the measurement process should develop in the future?

I had a chat with our measurement officer recently on the need to focus more on process quality as well as the quality of results. Prevalence measurement is a prerequisite for any improvement to quality. It has also been possible to shorten the time between the measurement day and the publication of results. In the end, however, what the institutions do with the results and what measures they implement are what count most.

«What the institutions do with the results and what measures they implement are what count most.»

After training as a nurse, Mélanie Verdon worked at various institutions in French-speaking Switzerland before specialising in intensive care. She will be celebrating her 20th anniversary at HUG in 2021. She is now in charge of research and nursing quality at the Nursing Directorate of Geneva University Hospital. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing and is currently working towards her doctorate in nursing science. In 2020, she returned to the intensive care unit for several months in order to help out caring for COVID-19 sufferers.

Photos: © Geri Krischker / ANQ