Nurses Use CANDLR to Light a Path at RUSH to Harm-Free Care

Camille Brownlee, MSN, RN, CNL; Katrina Blade, DNP, RN, CPPS, NE-BC, CPAN

Perioperative services are fast paced and frequently present challenges given the competition among patient priorities. Effective communication between practitioners is essential to patient safety. A nurse-led interprofessional task force at RUSH has developed a creative approach to improving interdisciplinary communication and thus patient care.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing regards interprofessional communication to be key in moving organizations from having fragmented interactions to a seamless process. Preoperative workflows are interdependent and can be impacted significantly by any flaws in communication. By enhancing collaboration and communication strategies that are evidence-based, including the effective use of technology, the parallel workflows of interdisciplinary teams can be vastly improved.

CANDLR, which refers to consent, anesthesia, nursing, doctor, labs and operating room (OR), is an electronic visual tool that tracks documentation for pre-operative requirements, providing safe admittance to the OR. A nurse can use the visual tool to confirm the completion of required documentation, which can help prevent mistakes in names, sites and procedures and thus aid in precluding adverse events. A visual color change of each letter from red to green indicates when the required documentation has been completed. Once all letters are green, a patient is ready for transportation to the OR. Stakeholders across different disciplines already have received training in the use of CANDLR.

Nurses at RUSH were surveyed to measure the effectiveness of the CANDLR visual tool when compared to a previous tool. Of the 26 perioperative nurses surveyed before the implementation of CANDLR, 58.3% said they perceived the previous electronic visual tool to have a noticeable impact on communication and workflows. After CANDLR was implemented 88.9% of perioperative nurses polled said they saw a noticeable or great impact on interdisciplinary communication. Therefore, the use of CANDLR has had a positive impact on the overall workflow of the unit and has been beneficial to patient safety, according to 44% of the perioperative nurses surveyed.

The nursing team has benefitted greatly from CANDLR as a visual communication tool, helping to optimize performance, communication and collaboration. CANDLR continues to aid in the exchange of real-time information to members of the interdisciplinary team and to prevent adverse patient events.