Capstone Courses and Projects
The Hospital for Special Surgery
Today's healthcare environment presents many challenges to nurse leaders, and effective leadership training for nurses is essential to successful transitions from the clinical to the managerial role. Addressing critical competencies and developing the required skills to manage staff and navigate the politics of a healthcare institution are instrumental to this process. Along with curriculum content, the method of instruction is key for successful integration of the nurse into this new role. The Capstone team developed an evidencebased curriculum within a mentorship and projectoriented framework that will provide a cohesive starting point to bridge the gap between clinical practice and effective leadership. This curriculum will be implemented within the nurse's home institution and with participation of senior leadership in order to reinforce newly acquired skills and the institution's culture.
New YorkPresbyterian Hospital – Communication and Collaboration
The Capstone team was engaged by New York Presbyterian (NYP) to develop a strategy to improve communication and collaboration at Allen Hospital. There are approximately 5,000 nursing home beds and a substantial elderly population in the local community surrounding Allen Hospital, and NYP wants to better coordinate the care of the geriatric patient in the hospital with the providers in the community. The team performed a literature review on communication among providers and continuity of care; researched health care reform and Accountable Care Organizations; conducted interviews with nurses, doctors, clerks, and patients; and observed the emergency room at Allen Hospital. In addition, the team reviewed the social work process and assessed the hospital website to determine whether it could better connect patients and providers. As a final deliverable, the Capstone team improved the initial visit data processing system and built a framework for participating in community activities and linkages between outside organizations and the hospital. The team's final recommendations build awareness of community resources and empower patients and providers to remain informed and connected.
New YorkPresbyterian Hospital – Interdisciplinary Communication
Effective interdisciplinary communication is associated with reduced length of stay, improved patient safety, and increased employee satisfaction. However, communication breakdowns are common in complex hospital settings and multiple communication structures often exist within the same organization. The Capstone team sought to evaluate current communication systems and make recommendations for improving interdisciplinary communication in hospital settings. After conducting site visits and staff interviews at Columbia and Cornell, the team identified highly functional interdisciplinary teams at both campuses. The team also evaluated best practices in interdisciplinary communication during site visits to other organizations. Based on characteristics of the highly functional teams, detailed interviews, site visits, and research from an extensive literature review on this topic, the Capstone team developed a pilot program for implementing an effective interdisciplinary communication structure on a hospital unit. Significant components of the pilot program include greater accountability, a focus on teamwork, and strong support from leadership.