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Rutgers–Camden nursing scholar helps develop new tool to deliver ostomy care

Monday December 16, 2013
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Janice Beitz, RN, PhD, CS, CNOR, CWOCN, CRNP, a professor at the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden (N.J.), was part of a research team that developed an ostomy algorithm, a step-by-step aid that allows nurses to properly assess ostomy patients and their needs.

“The majority of ostomy care is provided by non-specialized clinicians or caregivers and family members who do not have ostomy care expertise,” Beitz said in a news release. “There is a clear need for evidence-based guidelines in this area.”

Beitz, who specializes in acute and chronic wound, ostomy and continence care, also is part of a team that is developing an interactive online version of the algorithm for use on computers and mobile devices. ConvaTec, a developer of medical technologies for community and hospital care based in Skillman, N.J., is funding the project.

The algorithm consists of 11 assessments, beginning with the type of ostomy, and provides a pathway that leads to the selection of the best ostomy management option.

“It helps guide nurses through what they need to think about when they’re taking care of a patient,” Beitz said in the release. “We found that this algorithm brings nurses up to a higher level of safety when treating patients, which was our goal.”

The algorithm is scheduled to be published in the “Journal of Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing” in January.

Beitz said in the release that given the aging population, more people are developing medical conditions that require an ostomy.

“It’s our role as care providers to give them the best care possible,” she said. “We want to create the blueprint for choosing the safest and best product.”

At Rutgers–Camden, Beitz oversees a graduate certificate program in wound, ostomy and continence nursing. She was inducted as an American Academy of Nursing fellow in October, joining a group of more than 2,000 academy fellows — including three other Rutgers–Camden nursing scholars — as leaders in nursing education, management, practice and research.


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