Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Linda Matheson


Accountable care units (ACUâ?¢) provide a new model for integrated patient care. The ACUâ?¢ promotes patient centeredness in nursing units as team members work collaboratively with physicians to improve patient outcomes and reduce unwarranted variations. A health system in the southeastern United States incorporated the ACUâ?¢ as part of their care model. These units were held accountable for their clinical, service, and cost outcomes but lacked a validation process to demonstrate the effective utilization of their data. The purpose of this DNP project was to create a patient centered care (PCC) certification process, guided by the Donabedian model, that would provide hospital units the opportunity to access their process and quality improvement outcome data and to improve patient care. For this project, 12- key individuals were interviewed to gain their perspectives and input on the development and implementation of the PCC certification process. Results from the interviews were compiled and reviewed for common themes, which included Magnetâ?¢ recognition, patient experience, current unit goals, and hospital strategic plan. Using the results of the interviews, a PCC certification procedure was created to outline the steps required to achieve certification; and, an application was developed to provide a standard format for quality and process improvement projects and associated outcomes reporting. The certification procedure will be implemented in the health system in the next fiscal year. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the program and future refinement will be controlled by the Nursing Shared Governance. The project may promote positive social change as the staff nurses on the individual units use the unit metrics to improve patient outcomes and reduce variations in care.

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Nursing Commons