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Nurses are being asked to do more with less; and with an ageing population, this means that patient care needs are becoming more complex (The Advisory Board Company). While there are many approaches to determining models of care for a specific population, one model is being explored at HHS in various settings: The Synergy Model. The British Columbia Nursing Unit completed a province-wide pilot study using the Synergy Model with positive results by bringing a systematic approach to assessing their patients’ needs and looking at staffing assignments based on their knowledge and skill level (Macphee, Wardrop, Campbell, Wejr, 2011).
At HHS, 12 inpatient units have piloted the Synergy model (including in oncology, complex care, medicine, and rehab) to inform our nurse staffing assignments, and health professions staff. Feedback from staff and leaders about the Synergy Model have been positive.
The Synergy Model has three components: the patient characteristic tool, competency tool, and the environment in which care is provided. The patient characteristic tool includes items describing the patient care needs based on eight characteristics: stability, complexity, vulnerability, participation in care, participation in decision making, resiliency, predictability, and resource availability. The competency assessment tool identifies the competencies required for staff to safely care for the patient. The work environment survey assesses the internal and external factors that impact the environment in which care is provided. When all three factors are understood, then informed decisions regarding the right care provider to meet patient care needs can be made in a systematic way. 

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