by Linda Friedel | Reprinted courtesy of KC Nursing News

Diane Reid, RN, Lee’s Summit Medical Center, said her nursing career has been filled with challenges and a variety of tasks.

“It’s a diverse profession,” Reid said. “That’s what I think I (have loved) most about it all these years. I can change and do something different.”

Reid has functioned in a variety of roles with HCA-affiliated hospitals since 1979 and currently serves in case management at Lee’s Summit. As a case management nurse, Reid uses her clinical skills while dealing with insurance companies and Medicare, and then works with patients and their families to ensure appropriate discharges.

“It’s an interesting and very diverse job,” she said. “I get to really have fun out here at Lee’s Summit. I’m part of what they call the Patient Experience Committee. I really enjoy that.”

Reid initiated the committee 18 months ago after taking part in the hospital’s Kaizen Lean Project. She said the program’s goal is to provide the best possible hospital experiences and outcomes for patients and to encourage hospital staff to think about quality care.

Reid welcomes the challenge.

“It’s really a cool place to work because you have the opportunity to be part of really big things beyond what your specific job focus is,” she said. “It’s quality improvement with time management. It comes not only from the top down, but the bottom up.”

Reid also is involved in a pilot program dealing with multidisciplinary round patients, those patients who require extra care during and after their stay in the hospital. She works with physicians to determine who would benefit from the program, then a multidisciplinary team, such as representatives from physical therapy, dietary and pharmacy, meet with patients and their families before discharge to address dietary needs, equipment and medication, and follow-up care and answer questions.

“Families and patients seem to like really like it so far,” she said. “It’s a pretty new project we’ve just started in the last six weeks.”

Reid received Lee’s Summit Medical Center’s 2010 RN of the Year Award for her innovative approach to nursing.

“Diane was instrumental in the development of our patient communication boards throughout the hospital and has led our efforts in establishing multidisciplinary rounds involving the patients, families and physicians,” said Nancy Melcher, CNO, Lee’s Summit Medical Center.

Reid said she always wanted to be a nurse. She served as a candy striper as a teenager and that helped confirm her decision. The profession has been a good fit for her, she said.

“I just enjoyed care taking of people,” Reid said. “It was just something I felt I was good at and I felt good about doing it.”