Nurse champions new practice on the frontlines of infection control

Amy Yang

Amy Yang improves patient care and the prevention of patient infections by rethinking how hospital staff use tape on her inpatient unit.

Thanks to donor funding, Yang, a Registered Nurse, was able to tackle potential contamination of medical tape and implement the Medical Tape project with the support of the CAP Innovation Fellowship program.

It is common practice in hospitals for healthcare staff to carry medical tape from room to room when attending to their patients. Yang proposed switching to single-patient use tape, where each patient has their own roll, minimizing cross-contamination between patients. Yang’s project was chosen for spread across all of UHN hospital sites, which the CAP Practice and Strategy and Transformation teams have been implementing.

Building on Yang’s fellowship project, a review of the tape that UHN supplies was conducted, educating clinical staff about which tape should be used for various procedures. Staff expect to see a reduction of infection risk, medical-adhesive skin injuries among patients, as well as a potential reduction in supply costs.

“The fellowship program helped me develop leadership, networking and communication skills to effectively interact with different stakeholders, such as managers, physicians and senior directors to strategize and align my fellowship project to improve patient care at UHN,” says Yang.

The CAP Innovation Fellowship provides 15 hours  weekly of paid protected time over a six month period so that health professionals can build leadership skills while planning and implementing a quality improvement project. In addition to reducing potential sources of infection, past fellowship projects have aimed to improve patient experience, implement best practices and enhance efficiency of services provided to patients.

The CAP portfolio brings together three pillars of practice, education and research of 15 health professions, with the mission of ensuring patients and families who are cared for at University Health Network (UHN) receive high quality, safe and evidence-informed care.

The donor funded, CAP Fellowship and Research Grants Program, funds clinician-led scholarship projects that generate new knowledge, translate this into practice to improve patient care, and present their findings to local, national and international audiences.

Yang shared her project at the Infection Prevention and Control Canada conference in May 2018. As result, she received the Betty Watt Prize for Courageous Leadership in Nursing. After her fellowship, she moved from her role as a Registered Nurse in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Toronto General Hospital to a new position as a Clinical Research Nurse at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Learn more about past CAP Innovation Fellowship projects at UHN and current application guidelines by visiting capfellowship.com.