A new effort by nursing staff at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) to take note of what are being called “the four Ps” has drawn praise from the Alliance’s top doctor.
At a recent meeting of the Medical Advisory Committee of the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA), Medical Chief of Staff Dr. Laurel Moore heard a report about the new initiative from her nursing counterparts. On Thursday, May 2, at a regular meeting of the HPHA board of directors, Dr. Moore made sure to highlight the initiative.
“All of us (doctors) had our interests piqued by this because it’s an actual structure on how to ensure that patients are getting looked after in a different way, and in a more pro-active way,” she told the board of directors.
The four P’s are: pain, potty, position, and possessions. These represent the most common needs of a patient in a hospital bed, when using the call button for nurses.
Under the new initiative, before a nurse leaves a room after being called to address the need of a particular patient, they will make sure all four “P’s” are being addressed for everyone in the room.
“It sounds like more work, but it isn’t,” explained Moore. That’s because, often, a second patient does need something, but is simply too shy to speak up, or doesn’t realize the same nurse is willing and able to address their need as well. So, without the Four P’s, they’d likely push the button a few minutes later for themself.
Reduction in workload isn’t the only benefit. Sometimes, if a nurse has just left the room after dealing with a patient, a second patient might be embarrassed that they didn’t speak up soon enough. So they might try to get up on their own to go to the bathroom, or get something from their coat.
As a result, attention to the Four P’s has been shown to reduce falls.
“It’s really a nursing thing,” Dr. Moore commented, “but doctors love this kind of thing because it has been shown to have real effects for patient safety.”