DAISY Award – Recognizing Extraordinary Nurses for Excellence in Patient Flow and their Commitment to Timely, Compassionate, Well-coordinated Patient Care

Bonnie and Mark Barnes are the co-founders of The DAISY Foundation, an organization that recognizes the important role that nurses play in delivering thoughtful, compassionate care to patients.  The Barnes created The DAISY Foundation to honor the memory of their son Patrick and the outstanding nurses who cared for him during his battle with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura [ITP], an autoimmune disorder.

Sixteen years ago, we experienced extraordinary nursing when our son, Patrick, was hospitalized for eight weeks with the auto-immune disease ITP.  During that terrible time in a bone marrow transplant [BMT] unit, we saw nurses who were highly skilled; adept at using all the technology needed to care for Pat; and extremely competent in every way.  Frankly, we expected he would have high quality clinical care.  What we didn’t expect was how that care would be delivered.

Pat’s nurses were deeply compassionate and sensitive—not only to him as their patient, but to all of us in his family as well.  When he died, we felt strongly that we needed find a way to say “thank you” to nurses for what they do naturally every day —the things that seem simple but are so meaningful to a patient and family’s experience.

That’s why we created The DAISY Foundation, an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System, and The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a recognition program that celebrates their extraordinary compassion throughout the year.  Today, nearly 2,300 healthcare facilities are committed to honoring their nurses with The DAISY Award.  More than 750,000 nurses have been nominated—by the patients, families, and colleagues who want to express their gratitude to nurses by telling stories of extraordinary care.

What did not occur to us when Patrick was admitted was that there must have been a patient flow champion arranging for his bed in the BMT unit—before he arrived at the hospital by ambulance bleeding internally and in severe pain.  That nurse was invisible to us and the process seemed seamless—we arrived at the hospital and Patrick was immediately taken to the room that was awaiting his arrival.

Reflecting back, we have come to understand that nurses who specialize in patient flow often work behind the scenes, coordinating all aspects of care so that patients and their families can experience the same seamless process that we did.  We are deeply grateful to that nurse, whoever she or he may have been.  That nurse relieved one of the worries patients and families have – will we actually get the bed we need at the time we desperately need it?

That’s why we are proud to be teaming up with TeleTracking to say a very special “thank you” to patient flow nurses by shining a light on the important role they play in patient care—that also has an important impact on patients and families like ours.

Through The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in Patient Flow, sponsored by TeleTracking, we will get to say ‘thank you’ to all the nurses whose extraordinary efforts help ensure that we as patients and families have access to the right bed at the right time—along with thoughtful, compassionate care.

By Bonnie and Mark Barnes, FAANs, Co-founders, The DAISY Foundation

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