Our Practice

Nursing Research and Quality Improvement

Nursing research fortifies innovative patient care

Montefiore-Einstein nurses at Wakefield contribute to the advancement of standards of nursing care, seeking new knowledge, innovations and improvements through research.

Research at Wakefield

Learning from Healthcare Professionals’ Experience Providing Care for Minorities

Ongoing Research

Principal Investigator: Una Hopkins, DNP, RN, FNP-BC

Description: The aim of this study is to identify initial lessons learned from the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City and understand how to best support healthcare professionals as they treat minority populations during similar emergencies. By collecting data pertaining to the February–July 2020 period, this research seeks to identify health professionals' perceptions of which policies supported their work with minorities and evaluate the barriers they faced during the first phase of the pandemic. It also explores perceptions of existing educational and continuous training of health professionals during the pandemic in addressing health disparities among minorities in clinical settings.

Markers for Self-Management in Heart Failure Patients: A Retrospective Review

Ongoing Research

Principal Investigator: Una Hopkins, DNP, RN, FNP-BC

Co-investigators: Maura Porricolo, PhD, RN, CPNP; Katherine DiPalo, Pharm D; Stephania Dansoh, BSN, RN

Description: This is a retrospective chart review to assess the impact of the provision of a scale to complete daily weights on patients admitted with a diagnosis of heart failure on thirty-day readmission rates as a marker of self-management.

Empowerment As A Retention Tool: A Narrative Inquiry Study Of The Registered Nurse’s Experiences

Completed Research

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Igboechi, PhD, RN, RNC-OB, CPPS

Co-investigator: Una Hopkins, DNP, RN, FNP-BC

Description: A descriptive study to assess nurses’ perceptions on empowerment and its impact upon retention. Sixty-minute interviews conducted with RNs to assess their empowerment perception.

Prospective Review of the Impact of De-escalation Training Program on Competence in De-escalation of Situations on Med-Surgical Units

Ongoing Research

Principal Investigator: Una Hopkins, DNP, RN, FNP-BC

Co-investigator: Tara Shajan, MSN, DNP, PMHN-BC

Description: The primary objective for this intervention is staff will be able to proactively prevent escalating behaviors in patients with a diagnosis of mental illness.

Secondary objectives for this intervention are:

  • To minimize staff injuries resulting from altercations with patients or family
  • Decrease Dr. Strong calls and need for security to come to units
  • Promote staff competence in the care of the patient with mental illness
  • Advance career pathways for Patient Care Associates including Psychiatric Technician, Emergency Department, Technician, Healthcare Educator or Registered Nurse.

Real-World Effectiveness of Implementing Tocilizumab into Treatment Protocols for COVID-19 Patients

Ongoing Research

Principal Investigator: Pavel Goriacko, PharmD

Co-investigator: Una Hopkins, DNP, RN, FNP-BC

Description: The goals of this study are to evaluate the outcomes of critically ill COVID-19 patients resulting from incorporation of Tocilizumab into the institutional treatment protocols, and to elaborate the conditions under which Tocilizumab therapy provides the most benefits to our patient population. The findings will be used to optimize our treatment protocols and implementation of Tocilizumab therapy for COVID-19.

Wakefield Campus Pillow Exchange Study


Principal Investigator: Mary Tesoro, DNS, RN-BC

Co-investigators: Mary Ellen Lindros, EdD, RN; Marie Morelli, RN, NE-BC; Farley Villarente, FNP, RN; Stephina Schleifer, RN; Emijona Nacaj, RN; Caridad Barr, RN; Coleen Robinson-Cobblah, MSN, RN

Description: To determine if a reusable pillow can be substituted for our current single- patient use disposable pillow to increase patient and nurse satisfaction, decrease organizational costs and decrease environmental impact.

Callback Protocol

Ongoing Research

Principal Investigator: Dana F. Blackburn, RN

Co-investigator: Una Hopkins, DNP, RN, FNP-BC

Description: The callback procedure was implemented as a diversion monitoring tool and has been proven to combat diversion in substance-abuse clinics. Placing importance on this procedure throughout all substance-abuse clinics will serve the best interests of the patients who are having difficulty maintaining their medication regimens. This process allows healthcare professionals to closely monitor their vulnerable patient population to benefit from these preventive methods.

Understanding Staff Engagement at Montefiore: The Workforce Perspectives

Ongoing Research

Principal Investigators: Robert Shochet, MD; Una Hopkins, DNP, RN, FNP-BC

Description: The main purpose of this study is to characterize, from a range of MMC hospital staff perspectives, what factors promote meaningful engagement and trust in the context of their various roles and responsibilities in providing care and service to hospitalized patients. More specifically, we intend to explore:

  • How appreciative stories of meaningful experiences and high levels of engagement at work are related to one's sense of connection, belonging, support and trust
  • What gets in the way of experiencing meaning and sense of engagement? Understanding stories of disengagement, exploring factors such as equity, empowerment, bias, racism and safety
  • Discovery of how staff would describe their vision for a highly engaging work environment at MMC

Quality Improvement Projects

Quality Improvement (QI) is a framework used by nurses to systematically improve the ways care is delivered to their patients. These processes have characteristics that can be measured, analyzed, improved and controlled.

AHRQ TeamSTEPPS Handoff Using ISBAR Tool for Nurses in Labor and Delivery


Principal Investigator: Miriam Smith, RN

Co-investigator: Mary Ellen Lindros, EdD, RN

Description: The ISBAR framework represents a standardized approach to communication which can be used in any situation. It stands for Introduction, Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation. This tool is used during shift change between Nurses.