Blazing New Trails for Nurse-Led Innovation

By Ramona Ramadas, BSN, RN, Founder, New Trails Navigators; NursePitch Winner

Ramona Ramadas, BSN, RN

It was late afternoon on New Year’s Eve in New York City. One of the busiest days of the year, for everyone from partygoers to first responders.

I was on my last home care visit of the day. I knew the patient; we’d been doing wound care visits for a while – and were close to complete healing. Care in the community is never predictable, but I was in a good groove with this patient and suspected our visit would be brief, and I would be on the subway home and away from the inevitable crowds soon.

I walked into the patient’s apartment and the bathroom sink was on the floor. There was a hole in the wall of the bathroom where the sink was once attached.

Turns out, the patient had fallen a couple days before and pulled the sink out trying to stabilize.

The patient was okay and had known to see primary care after the fall, but the home care team, the patient’s eyes and ears in the community, was out of the loop. That may not have been so bad, except the patient I was looking at shouldn’t have been at home, alone, still unsteady and unsure, with no daily support.

I needed to get a better plan together quickly. Wait, did I mention it was New Year’s Eve? This wasn’t going to be easy …

RELATED: Empowering Nurses as Leaders and Innovators

I have a lot of stories like this from the community and there were two common threads: a need for stronger, community-based support for complex, vulnerable individuals, and a solution for the lack of workers to lead these efforts. This was the inspiration for my organization. We pair a vulnerable patient with a peer that has relatable experience facing and overcoming the same physical, behavioral, and social challenges as the patient.

New Trails Navigators was founded in 2018 and has matured through a lot of elbow grease and a few pitch awards. My team and I were thrilled to learn about the new HIMSS and the American Nurses Association nurse innovator focus through NursePitch™. There are so many talented nurses in the HIMSS community, we were honored for inclusion in the program.

I’ve never felt so supported in a pitch. The audience’s smiling faces and thumbs ups as I pitched my heart out on behalf of my patients were just what I needed – not only to get through the pitch but to keep going in this tough work.

Thank you, HIMSS for giving nurse innovators a microphone and megaphone to share our work. I can’t wait to see you next year to celebrate our victories and welcome the next cohort!

The views and opinions expressed in this blog or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.

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