What’s a Chief Nursing Optimization Officer? Meet Betty Jo Rocchio
Nurses are uniquely positioned to develop solutions that have the potential to change human health, but sometimes due to time constraints, insufficient resources, and low levels of resiliency, nurses find themselves in environments where they don’t feel empowered to make their great ideas reality. Nurse leader Betty Jo Rocchio and her team at Mercy in Chesterfield, Missouri are committed to changing that.
Johnson & Johnson recently spoke with Betty Jo Rocchio, MS, BSN, CRNA, CENP, chief nursing optimization officer and former vice president of perioperative performance at Mercy, to learn more about how she and Mercy use data and analytics to create environments that support and empower nurses to bring their innovative solutions forward. Mercy, one of the top five large health systems in the nation according to IBM Watson Health, employs nearly 15,000 nurses and is making nurse-led innovation a priority by positioning nurses as care team leaders. Betty Jo hopes other health systems can learn from how they are championing nurse-led innovation to improve patient outcomes.
During my time at Mercy, we’ve been able to use technology and data to standardize workflows, help surgery go more smoothly by optimizing the tools clinical teams need, reduce waste, and develop clinical benchmarks for our frontline co-workers. We’re committed to optimization and implementation becoming part of our culture.
We’re also striving to have our nurses spend more time at the bedside than behind a computer completing electronic health records. Our team is experimenting with voice activation nurse charting so nurses can transmit their documentation more quickly and spend more time delivering quality care.
One of our long-term goals is to use technology to design a better customer-centric model of care by training our nurses to look at data and provide a predictive element of healthcare in the virtual space. Nurse input will be crucial in making this a reality for both inpatient and outpatient care.
I wouldn’t dream of doing any optimization initiatives without nurse involvement. Because nurses are on the frontlines, they should be involved in the design, build, and implementation of their idea. They are the group with key insights on patient risk factors like patient falls and pressure ulcers that we can’t always understand completely from an analytics platform. Instead of dreaming up an idea in the boardroom and handing it off, our programs at Mercy gives them a chance to own their great ideas and develop it from the ground up.
I think that the “squeaky wheel” within a health system is just a frustrated nurse innovator. I look for those squeaky wheels. Nurses are doing the same things every day, and they recognize when these things don’t make sense. We need to encourage nurses to bring their ideas forward, so we can help them take their ideas and turn them into experiences that benefit patients and the nation.
I would also say look beyond healthcare and look at what’s going on in other industries like technology, business, and finance. My greatest learnings have come from non-clinical people. Speak to people you know are innovators or entrepreneurs and combine that with what you know.
*Mercy is not a partner in the Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge series, which is run solely by Johnson & Johnson. Mercy has shared information about the Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge with their nursing staff and has encouraged nurses to apply.