Grant Application

Sarah Ziccardi, Advanced Practice Nurse UPMC Passavant with support of executive sponsors Susan Hoolahan, Vice President of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer Melanie Heuston, Director of Nursing


Proposed Innovation

Improve patient care outcomes by identifying and implementing evidencebased practices (EBP). Establish benchmarks and improvements rooted in the most up-to-date published evidence to improve patient outcomes.


Improvements in Action

The Evidence-Based Care Council was formed to review evidence-based best practices. All nursing policies were reviewed and updated as needed to ensure the best solutions are at work. Three staff nurses were selected to serve as EBP interns. The interns were given the task of exploring a clinical situation in which patient care outcomes could be improved.

Three opportunities for outcome improvements were selected: transitioning long-term care residents to acute inpatient care; early mobility and ambulation among adult ICU patients; and the perennial concern of improving pain management to better patient satisfaction.

Two interns also expanded their knowledge by attending the National Evidence-Based Practice Conference: Remaking Health Care. Afterward, they presented what they learned there, and new EBPs are now in place at UPMC Passavant.



Melanie Heuston, director of nursing, believes this new practice improvement empowers nurses to question their usual procedures and devise better ones. She says that all projects explored through the EBP transformation at UPMC Passavant have had positive impacts on patient care.