Member Recognition

Christine Bass, MSN, RN, CNL – 2023 AACN Vanguard Award Recipient

Christine (Chrissy) Bass currently serves as a Clinical Nurse Leader on a Neuro-Telemetry Unit at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. Additionally, she serves as a parttime clinical instructor at Northeastern University in the Accelerated BSN Program.

Her Neuro-tele unit is a Joint Commission CSC Certified 24-bed acute care stroke unit that specializes in the care of patients who have endured a stroke in the acute and post-critical care phase (ischemic stroke/TIA, ICH/IVH, SAH).

In 2021, Chrissy and her leaders identified that 35% of the acute stroke diagnoses were cared for outside of the neuro division which poses a potential problem in providing specialized services for clinicians trained in providing neurological care. Chrissy and team collaborated with stroke navigators, bed management, and neuro providers to create a bed designation dashboard and intercranial hemorrhage pathway. As a result of this work, the percentage drastically reduced from 35% to only 5% of the acute stroke patients being cared for outside of the neuro division.

Also in 2021, opportunities were identified with mobility compliance within the neuro-tele patient population. Chrissy led a population health focused initiative that directly tackled multiple nurse-sensitive indicators to include falls, VTE, and pressure injury rates. She helped institute mobility champions on her unit to consist of RNs and nurse aid/healthcare techs. She also helped to facility a monthly reward and recognition for staff that demonstrated compliance with mobility goals. Additionally, she aided in enlisting the assistance of Informatics Analytics Services to support the creation of a real time data report for mobility documentation for tracking and trending purposes. She led mobility rounds and helped to create a strong culture of mobility on her unit. This work resulted in sustained increase of mobility compliance from 30% to an average greater than 65%. Furthermore, her unit achieved a reduction in VTE occurrences, as well as a reduction in the average length of stay.

Additional unit level initiatives Chrissy led includes a revamp of the Anticipated Date of Discharge (ADOD) Huddle. This work came about due to identifying a need for visual management as well as structured daily multidisciplinary collaborative efforts to safely discharge patients in a timely, yet safe manner. Chrissy presented the current process to stakeholders to ascertain ideas regarding ways to fix the ADOD huddle and impact. She then surveyed stakeholders to establish the best time and day of the week for attendees. She then created scripting, an ADOD board, and eye-catching board magnets to easily communicate the plan of care, anticipated health and quality risks, as well as tailored care needs for every patient. As a result, a drastic reduction in the median length of stay was achieved by her unit.

Chrissy is not only involved in unit and microsystem improvement work, she is also engaged in various councils, committee, and champion work throughout her hospital. A few of these role advancing activities include but is not limited to serving on the device stewardship team, as a CLABSI champion, a Neuro core participant, a CNL preceptor/mentor, an active Adult Nurse Practice and Quality Council member, an active Nursing Research Sub-Council member, and serving as a lead for the stroke work group and meeting for weekly improvement initiatives.

Chrissy is known for sharing her work and learnings both near and far. Most recently, she served as a podium presenter at the International Clinical Nurse Leader Association Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. She presents regularly to her CNL team and the Adult Nurse Practice & Quality Council at her hospital. Additionally, Chrissy has published her work as an exemplar in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality.

Current active projects Chrissy is involved in include weekly Pressure Injury Rounds, flow and capacity efforts, creating a monthly quality theme for the neuroscience division, neuro core education development, creating escalation processes regarding barriers to discharge using EPIC secure chats, a nurse-led therapy room for neuro patients in collaboration with Exercise Physiologists, and PEG tube trigger consults. These efforts have also resulted in reductions in significant quality and care outcome improvements.

Outside of work Chrissy is very engaged in her community. She is a founding board member of the Queen City Chapter of the National Black Nurses Association. She has led many community service activities, screening events, and walks to raise awareness for various chronic diseases plaguing the black community. Chrissy also serves as an active participant in the quarterly community benefit activity for her neuro division and she participates in Nursing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work throughout her community.

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