Everyday Innovations

Indoor patient hiking trails improve cardiac rehab

At Maine Medical Center in Portland, ME, cardiac patients who need to walk prior to discharge are now doing so on "patient hiking trails" developed by Deborah Courtney, RN, MS, CS, cardiology clinical nurse specialist. On three large cardiac floors that serve intervention, medical, and surgery patients, nurses need to be documenting patients’ progress as accurately as possible. To make that process easier, Courtney mapped out different "trails" patients may walk for each individual unit. The map shows color-coded routes and their distances. The trails are named for actual hiking trails in Maine.

Courtney says patients and families can easily find the maps of different routes posted in multiple places on each unit, with distances to know how far they should walk. Staff have the same so that they may more accurately document patients’ ambulation distance and progress, improving cardiac rehab implementation.

To read more about patient hiking trails and other everyday innovations, visit the Best Practice Network’s Web site at www.best4health.org. The Best Practice Network, a new organization devoted to promoting information sharing in health care by nurses, physicians and other health care professionals, offers creative solutions to problems large and small. Or send an e-mail message to join-us@best4health.org or call (800) 899-2226.