LANSING, Mich. - Melissa "Missy" Hinkle helped spearhead a program that allowed Sparrow to become the nation's first health system to use Epic Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software to more quickly and accurately diagnose Patients during transport in an ambulance.
That technological achievement, using iSparrow EMR, allows real-time charting - leading to better outcomes. It's one of the reasons why Hinkle is being honored through Sparrow's new RN Caregiver Spotlight program.
The RN Caregiver Spotlight recognizes nurses and their contributions to Patients and the community. One nurse is featured each month.
"It's such an honor to be recognized for this achievement," said Hinkle, a Critical Care Transport Nurse in Sparrow's Emergency Department. "But I'm just one member of a Critical Care Transport team that has done amazing work over the years. Getting Patient information into the system immediately helps to save lives."
The Critical Care Transport team manages the transfer of critically ill Patients from point A to point B. Hinkle calls it "a helicopter on wheels."
The 12-year Sparrow employee says she was inspired to pursue a career in critical care when she saw nurses and paramedics in action while working as a secretary in an emergency department. She was first trained as a paramedic and then continued on to nursing school.
"The best part about my job is I get to do the work of both a paramedic and a nurse," she said. "It's really all I've ever wanted to do. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in Patients' lives."
Her co-workers and Nursing leaders have been inspired by her work. Hinkle was also named "Nurse of the Year" for the Emergency Department during the recent Nurses Week awards.
"Missy is innovative, encouraging our EMR team to figure out a way to take Epic on the road, the first team to ever do such an endeavor," said Stacey Peacock, Manager of the Emergency Department. "She cares deeply about everyone she encounters, treating them as she would her own family."