Team led by nursing professors wins research award

A team led by faculty members from the College of Nursing received the 2020 Julie Lathrop Nursing Research Award for their study Engaging Parents in Education for Discharge (ePed) iPad Application to Improve Parent Discharge Experience.

Part of the Julie Lathrop Research Foundation, the prestigious award from Children’s Wisconsin is named after the late Julie Lathrop, who served at the hospital as a pediatric nurse and director of educational services for 16 years. The award recognizes research deemed impressive and innovative by the Department of Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice.

The study analyzes nursing staff using iPads equipped with the Parents in Education for Discharge (ePed) app to educate parents on how to best care for child patients after they are discharged from the hospital. Marquette professors Dr. Norah Johnson, associate professor of nursing, and Dr. Stacee Lerret, adjunct professor of nursing — who is also a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Wisconsin — are co-principal investigators on the study.

The study found the app helps nurses provide a high-quality educational experience in that parents who are exposed to the app during the discharge process are more engaged and better prepared to take care of child patients at home after discharge. Future studies are needed to further examine the impact of ePed intervention, but initial findings show the application has the potential to broadly improve discharge outcomes and reduce the amount of hospital readmissions.

“This award recognizes the teamwork of the Pediatric Nursing Consortium of Milwaukee nurse researchers from Marquette, UWM and Children’s Wisconsin,” Johnson said. “We hope the ePed app discharge process is translated to practice throughout Children’s Wisconsin, and we are looking forward to future projects that engage families in their child’s care at the hospital and home.”

“We could not be more excited that this stellar research team has received this very prestigious award. This research team’s work is an outstanding example of nursing research that makes a difference for patients and their families, helping them be better prepared to live a healthy life after discharge,” said Dr. Janet Wessel Krejci, dean of the College of Nursing. “Nancy Korom’s leadership in supporting the Department of Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice provides opportunities for outstanding research teams like this to make patients, families and communities stronger.”

The research team is made up of a dozen professors and other professionals in nursing, computer science and related fields from Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Wisconsin. Other Marquette faculty members on the research team include Dr. Marianne Weiss, professor emeritus of nursing; Dr. Mauricio Garnier-Villarreal, assistant professor of nursing; Dr. Sheikh Iqbal Ahamed, professor and chair of computer science in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences; and Riddhiman Adib, graduate research assistant in computer science.

The team’s research was funded by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin.