WIN Conference 2023
In one region including 4 hospitals, acute care nurses historically met with professional development practitioners (PDP) and received binders containing printed, specialty-specific policies and a competency checklist (required to be signed and returned to the nurse leader) upon new hire or transfer. Creating physical orientation packets is costly, time-consuming, and restricts the ability to share appropriate orientation materials in the event of a PDP sick call. Real-time communication between the orientee, preceptor, PDP, and nurse leader regarding status of the competency checklist cannot occur with a physical binder. Providing electronic onboarding materials is a potential solution.
To describe the impact of providing electronic onboarding materials on PDP time and cost savings and nursing-reported satisfaction with the change.
A quality improvement project was implemented in several phases between September 2021 and April 2022 to evaluate the impact of converting printed nursing onboarding information to an electronic notebook. First, one PDP developed an orientation notebook in OneNote for nurse hires in a pilot, perioperative unit. Upon hire, the orientee, preceptor, and nurse leader received a private, internal link requiring multi-factor authentication to access onboarding materials and monitor progress on the competency checklist on demand. The PDP then administered an electronic FORMS survey to new-hire nurses on the pilot unit to assess preferences for electronic versus physical onboarding materials. In the next two phases, 5 then 10 PDPs developed and shared OneNote orientation notebook links with all new hires in their respective units. Finally, in April 2022, all PDPs transitioned to electronic notebooks and a survey was distributed to determine how much time was spent preparing electronic versus physical notebooks. The average number of pages per physical binder and annual number of nurse orientees were collected to estimate cost savings. Lastly, select nurse leaders, orientees, preceptors, and PDPs were informally asked to provide feedback about the new process for providing orientation materials.
Between January to April 2022, 64.8% (138 /213) of nurse hires received electronic versus printed orientation materials. Most nurses in the initial survey (n=6/10) indicated a preference for electronic materials. Most PDPs (n=11/19) completed the savings survey and reported considerable time savings: 6 hours total to create the electronic notebook versus 24 hours each year to print physical binders. The estimated savings for the department (paper, notebooks, and printing costs) were $11,826.93 per year. Informal feedback from key stakeholders (preceptors, orientees, leaders, PDPs) revealed high satisfaction with enhanced shared communication regarding orientees’ completed competencies.
Orientees, preceptors, and nursing leaders report satisfaction with electronic orientation materials versus physical copies. PDPs report momentous time savings with the new process, and the department calculated significant cost savings.
Implications for Practice:
Using a secure, collaborative, electronic orientation notebook can support shared, on demand conversations regarding an orientee’s progress toward completing competencies. PDPs may benefit from more free time educating nurses and can more easily provide electronic onboarding materials for orientees assigned to other PDPs in the event of unexpected PDP illness.
Bowles, Megan; Lust, Abby; Rangel, Teresa; and Bryan, Tobi, "Orientation materials: Impact of Transitioning from Paper to an Electronic Format" (2023). Articles, Abstracts, and Reports. 7104.