Last spring, as the province was managing what would be the first wave of COVID-19, our nursing teams were offered the opportunity to leverage emerging ideas and initiatives related to clinical practice within the pandemic. Thanks to generous funding from the National Bank of Canada, two teams received the National Bank Nursing Research and Innovation award.

One year later, and COVID-19 continues to impact the health care system. We asked the project leads for an update and to find out what advice they would offer to anyone thinking of applying for this year’s award.

Narrative Inquiry of Team Rising up to call During Crisis (COVID-19). Dissemination through Online Resources for New Staff and Students
Project Leads: Nurses Julie San Juan and Paul Corteza

“In the first wave of the pandemic, there was a lot of information available in the news and social media, which made it hard to sift through the most accurate information available, and in turn led to confusion at the front-line. The project is designed to give nursing students and new employees resources through experiential knowledge and storytelling by current nurses during COVID-19. The online platform is designed to help nursing and health disciplines learn through knowledge translation of the different experiences of front-line clinical teams, through integration of stories and best practices around the pandemic.

We are hoping that it will make an impact to future front-line clinical teams dealing with a large scale crisis, and have the ability to scale the platform to reach across Sinai Health and other facilities. The initial plan was to complete a narrative inquiry and turn the stories to co-created modules, however the team had to pivot to an online platform where they can share stories, videos and pictures.

Innovation is about having the ability to say that things are not working as planned and be willing to adapt to make something better than what you thought your project would look like. This is only the start of innovation, we should be always thinking of how to scale our projects beyond the limitations of our units.”

Self-Management Education and Support for Virtual Insulin Initiation in Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) During a Pandemic
Project Lead: Violetta Nikolova, Clinical Nurse Specialist

“The shift to virtual care during the pandemic was a necessity for all clinical areas. As experts in diabetes management, we wanted to be able to continue teaching pregnant women with gestational diabetes how to use insulin therapy, while generating new knowledge about the application of technology to inform our professional community of a successful, sustainable, and quality care method as an alternative to routine in-person clinical encounter. The implementation of this innovative idea involves collaborative efforts of an interprofessional team.

Our project aims to measure our patients’ satisfaction with virtual education, their subsequent confidence with insulin therapy, and their knowledge of insulin dose self-adjustment.

We are conducting a chart audit of the patients who received in-person education the year before the pandemic as a comparator to those who are currently receiving virtual education across our key indicators of safety, effectiveness, and efficiency..  Our hope is to publish this work and share with our broader community, as well as using the data to lead to further improvement.

Taking on an innovation or research project at any time requires nimbleness, but even more so during a pandemic. Be generous with your timeline, don’t lose focus, and consider including a diverse background of knowledge and experience in your project team.”