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Local Nurse/Hospital Administrator Wows International Medical Conference

Lynda Nester photo

Lynda Nester addressing the audience at the Best Practices in Patient-Centered Care Conference.
(October 29, 2013 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

"You should make a movie," was a comment spoken to Lynda Nester, RN, BSN, MS, assistant vice president of Nursing, at Monongahela Valley Hospital. Ms. Nester received the accolade following her presentation to a group of more than 200 health care professionals at an international conference in Baltimore in late September.

"Oars to Success: Journey to Excellence in Pain Management" was the topic of Ms. Nester's presentation at the Best Practices in Patient-Centered Care Conference hosted by Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. Ms. Nester was asked to give a 20-minute presentation at the conference this past summer after the Institute ranked Monongahela Valley Hospital among the top three medium-sized hospitals in the nation in terms of nurse communication, doctor communication, staff responsiveness and pain management.

"It was very exciting yet intimidating," said Ms. Nester. "The conference provided a great opportunity to tell the story about our wonderful hospital and to inform other medical professionals about Monongahela Valley Hospital. When I looked out in the room, I saw leaders from some of the most respected hospitals and health care systems in the world taking notes."

Ms. Nester had her audience moving from laughter to tears. While she opened her presentation with remarks about the Steelers and Pirates to cheers, when she started talking about MVH's culture which can be summed up in one phrase, "Is this the care you want for your mother?" the audience was captivated. She took the group on the journey of one patient, Hilda, age 83, and talked about the therapies that were administered during the elderly woman's recent stay at MVH. Ms. Nester outlined the programs that MVH has in place to impact a positive patient experience from an interdisciplinary approach to pain management to a host of comfort measures such as aromatherapy. It wasn't until the conclusion of the presentation that Ms. Nester revealed that Hilda was actually her own mother, Hilda Hobaugh, from Monongahela, who passed away July 20, 2013.

Ms. Nester has presented at other health care conferences during her career but she found the attendees in Baltimore to be "among the friendliest and most willing to share information." She returned to MVH with many ideas that she hopes to gradually begin implementing at the hospital.

The Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality hosted the Best Practices in Patient-Centered Care Conference for the first time in September. Its primary objective was to identify health care innovations and promising practices for translating the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) behaviors to the bedside. HCAHPS is a nationally standardized survey for measuring how patients perceive the care that they receive in hospitals.

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