Graphic by Rachael Acker
Julie Cronin, RN, DNP, OCN, NE-BC and Kristen Nichols, RN
EDC Nursing and Patient Care Services | 2021

As nurses on the Yawkey Infusion Unit, Julie and Kristen believe that nurse/patient assignments that are well balanced based on patient acuity are vital for patient safety, nurse satisfaction and the patient experience. From their work on the front lines, they also know that cancer treatments are becoming more complex. There is no evidence based, valid and reliable acuity tool for ambulatory oncology infusion units that can inform adequate nurse staffing and balanced patient assignments. To address this pain point, Julie and Kristen are developing a patient acuity tool for the ambulatory oncology infusion unit. This tool will assist in providing data to ensure appropriate nurse/patient assignments based on patient acuity and to identify appropriate staffing/resource needs to ensure registered nurse full time equivalents are adequate based on identified criteria (vs. volume only metrics).