Open Studies

We consistently strive to provide the best care to our patients and families. Nursing and Allied Health research is one way in which we can continually improve that bedside care.

View our Open Studies at Baptist Health Lexington and Baptist Health Paducah

Baptist Health Lexington

Studies Opened in 2018

  • Development and Evaluation of the Baptist Health Hospital Acquired Pressure Injury Risk Assessment Instrument, Preston Lewis, RN, DNP.
  • The Effect of a Simulation-Based Education Program on The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) Accuracy and Inter-Rater Reliability Among Nursing Staff in the Neurological/Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit, Amanda Novak, RN, BSN, CCRN, FCCS.
  • Screening for Psychosocial Needs and Barriers to Care in Ambulatory Oncology: A Retrospective Review, Susan Yackzan, PhD, APRN, MSN, AOCN.
  • The Effects of Nurses' use of the AM-PAC "6 Clicks" functional assessment measure and mobility plan using JH-HLM tool on LOS, discharge destination, Physical therapy consults, patient ambulation documentation by nursing, falls, and nurses' knowledge, attitude and behaviors regarding patient mobility, Charlie Workman, MS, PT, MBA, CBIS.
  • The Effect of the advanced Hydration Protocol on Creatinine Levels and Incidence of Acute Kidney Injury Among Cardiac Catheterization Patients, Julie Joiner, MSN, RN-BC, CPHQ.
  • Opioid Discharge Prescriptions: An Inpatient Review, Ashley Lopez PharmD.
  • Validation of a vancomycin dosing and monitoring protocol in a community hospital, Elizabeth Lyons Kobitter, PharmD.
  • Evaluation of prescription abandonment and delay in treatment with oral anticancer agents in a pharmacist led oral chemotherapy clinic, Mary Carol Pike, PharmD.
  • Effectiveness of midodrine adjunctive therapy for decreasing vasopressor duration of use in patients admitted to the intensive care unit, Daniel Whitehouse, PharmD, RPh.
  • Evaluation of an alvimopan stewardship program, Evan Schmidt, PharmD.
  • Evaluation of the impact of carbapenem use through clarification of penicillin allergies, Zachary Gordon Norris, PharmD.
  • Evaluation of antibiotics duration with a pharmacist-driven methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus nasal polymerase chain reaction testing protocol, Elizabeth Dowell, PharmD.
  • Calcitonin Medication Use Evaluation, Brian Host, PharmD, BCPS.
  • Evaluation of a Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Training Program on Correct Use of the Finnegan Scoring Tool and Nurse Confidence, Angela Clark, RNC-OB, MSN, BSN.
  • The Effect of Hospital pre-birth classes on Women's Birth Preferences and Fear of Childbirth: A Pre and Post Class Survey, Kristen Hands, RN, BSN.
  • Assessing Breastfeeding Swallow Function During a modified Barium Swallow Study: A Case Study, Lillian Scott, MS, CC-SLP, IBCLC.
  • Early Identification of Risk Factors Associated with Breast Cancer Related Lymphedema at BHL to Facilitate Early Referral to Physical Therapy and Appropriate Prospective Surveillance, Claire Davies, PT, DPT.
  • Symptom presence and need for education related to MRI technologists' exposure to static magnetic fields, Melinda Walker, MHA, RT (R) (MR).
  • The Effects of Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) on Anxiety Prior to Lumbar Discectomy, Brandy Griffin, MA, ST.
  • Difference in Patient Satisfaction with Postoperative Bras and Drain Securement Methods among Women Undergoing Mastectomy, Peggy Wheeler, RN, OCN.
  • Examination of EHR End-User Satisfaction - A Radiology Staff Perspective, Caitlyn Humphrey, BSHS, CNMT, RT (R).
  • Intensive Care Admissions: Predicting Palliative Care Needs in the First 24 Hours, Ashton Renee Miller, RN, BSN.
  • Integration of an Inpatient Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Practice Model in High Readmission Risk Patient Populations, as part of a Multidisciplinary Transitions-of-Care Team, Jeff Cassidy, RPh.

Studies Opened in 2017

  • To Examine the Influence of Hydrotherapy on Babies with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, Jeri Hahn, RN, CIMI.
  • Effect of eHealth Self-Care Intervention on Symptom Variability, Self-Care Ability, Treatment Adherence and Psychological Distress in a Sample of COPD patients, Andrew Bugajski, BSN, RN.
  • Pyschometric Evaluation of the Anxiety Subscale of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) in Women Recalled for False-Positive Mammograms, Susan Yackzan, PhD, APRN, AOCN.
  • Implementing data-driven inventory optimization of automated dispensing cabinets in a community hospital, Joshua Louis Foley, PharmD.
  • A comparison of the effectiveness of two warfarin reversal protocols in a community hospital setting, Claire A. Hafner, PharmD.
  • Comparison of electrolyte abnormalities in critically ill patients receiving Prismasate or Phoxilium for continuous renal replacement therapy, Bethany Ann Godby, PharmD.
  • Evaluation of a pharmacist-driven vancomycin dosing and monitoring protocol in a community hospital setting, Cassaundra Boils, PharmD.
  • Description of a pharmacist-managed anticoagulation clinic on 30-day readmission rates in patients newly initiated on anticoagulation therapy, Casey Baker, PharmD.
  • An Evaluation of the Use and Effectiveness of an Alcohol Withdrawal Protocol in Non-Critically Ill Patients in a Community Hospital Setting, Abby Therese Pike, PharmD.
  • Perception Following a Move to a New Facility among Nurses and Patient Care Technicians, Kathy Tussey, MSN, RN.
  • Retrospective Review of 2016 Rectal Cancer Cases, Alena Glass, RN, BSN, OCN.
  • Perioperative Preceptor Education Embedded in a Hospital-Wide Preceptor Program, Kimberly Crawford, MSN, RN, CNOR.
  • The Effect of a Parent Empowerment Program on Length of Stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Holly Nieves, DNP, RN.
  • Vitamin D: Beliefs and Behaviors of Older Adults, Emma Eun-Jee Simpson, BS, MS.
  • Job Satisfaction and Contributing Factors in Radiology, Allison Fultz, MBS, RT(R)(M)(CT).
  • The Effect of Music on Mood, Motivation and Exercise among Cardiac Rehabilitation Patients, Lindsay Bowles, RN.

Studies Opened in 2016

  • Transition of Care for Hospital Patients after Discharge, Rhonda Ruggles, MSN, RN, BSN.
  • Implementation of a meropenem de-escalation protocol utilizing prospective audit and feedback in a community hospital, Mallory Megee, PharmD.
  • Implementation and Evaluation of a Narcotic Auditing Program in a Community Hospital, Hannah E Bennett, PharmD.
  • Impact of BioFire FilmArray Multiplex PCR for Blood Culture Identification on Antimicrobial Use in a Community Hospital, Alexis Michelle Boyce, PharmD.
  • The Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Local UTI Treatment Protocol in the Inpatient Setting, Ahmed Shammisaldeen, PharmD. , RPH.
  • Defining Current Sedation Practice in a Community Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit, John Starks, PharmD.
  • Value of Pharmacy-Initiated Medication Reconciliation in Reducing Medication Errors in Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Treatment in an Outpatient Cancer Center, Jacqueline Norris, PharmD.
  • Effect of Essential Oils on Radiation Oncology Patients, Jennifer Smith, BSN, RN-BC.
  • The Effect of Oncology Nurse Navigators on Patient Satisfaction Scores, Susan Yackzan, PhD, APRN, AOCN.
  • Geriatric Delirium Education Program to Increase Nurse's Knowledge of Patient Management in Acute Care, Stacey Watkins, RN, DNP.
  • Dysphagia Screening Tool for Nursing: Screening for Dysphagia among Patients Diagnosed with Pneumonia, Sarah Groppo-Lawless, MS, SLP.
  • Factors Influencing Preference for Surgical Choice among Women with Early Stage Breast Cancer, Susan Yackzan, PhD, APRN, AOCN.
  • BHLex Comparison of Two Types of Orientation Processes Research Study, Brittany Smoot, RN, BSN.
  • Nurse Retention: Preventing Turnover, Andrew Bugajski, RN, BSN.
  • BHLexington Preceptor Program Evaluation, C. Preston Lewis, RN, DNP.
  • Efficacy of Post-discharge Telephone Calls in Preventing Readmission within 30 Days post-Discharge from an Acute Care Facility, Lola Buchanan, RN, BSN.
  • M.O.V.E. Post-Intervention Survey - Nurses Satisfaction, Cathrine Weaver, RN, MSN, HN-BC.
  • Effectiveness of Hourly Rounding on Patient Care, Linda Bragg, MSN, RN, CPHQ.
  • The Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) Registry from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry/American College of Radiology, Rhonda Ruggles, MSN, RN, BSN.
  • Get with the Guidelines - AFIB Registry from the American Heart Association with the Ablation Registry Feature enabled, Rhonda Ruggles, MSN, RN, BSN.
  • Multi-Modal Intensive Care Unit Post-Cardiac Surgery Orientation Program Karen Pratt, RN, BSN.
  • Physician-Nurse Patient Rounding, Elizabeth Rowland, RN, BSN.
  • Development of a Leadership Program for Hospital Employees: Assessment, Implementation and Evaluation, Dee Beckman, DNP, MBA, MSN, RN, NE-BC.

Studies Opened in 2015

  • Creating a Culture of Support for Judicious Antibiotic Use in a Retail Clinic Setting, Robin Smith, APRN-BC.
  • Participation in the Nurse/Patient Assignment and Buddy System Project, Monica Stahl, BSN, RN-ONC.
  • Transversus abdominus plane block (TAP) study, Jessi D'Andrea, RN, BSN, CNOR.
  • Increasing Knowledge of Cervical Cancer Screening, Nancy O'Neill, MSN, APRN, CNM.
  • Retrospective Review of Eligible Breast Cancer Patients who Received Short Course Breast Radiotherapy, Kim Prather RN, BSN, OCN.
  • The Effectiveness of a Multifaceted Intervention on CTICU Nurses' Knowledge, Self-Efficacy, and Satisfaction with Training on Emergent Resternotomy in the ICU, Shannon Muhlenkamp, MSN, RN.
  • Professional Development and Audit and Feedback to Improve Detection of Risk and Incidence of Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcer (HAPU), Kristi Colcord, RN, BSN, CWOCN.
  • Evaluation of the Pain Assessment in Advanced Dementia Scale (PAINAD), C Preston Lewis, RN, DNP.
  • NICU Workplace Design, Regina Soltz, APRN, MSN.
  • Knowledge, Skills and When to Update Neonatal Resuscitation Practice, Kimberly Kjelland, APRN, MSN.
  • Development of the Nurse Knowledge & Perception of the Practice Environment (NKPPEI): Establishing Content Validity, C. Preston Lewis, RN, DNP.
  • Evaluation of Nurse Director's Perceived Benefit of Evidence-Based Practice, Dee Beckman, DNP, MBA, MSN, RN, NE-BC.
  • Use of Interactive Narrative Instruction to Increase Awareness of Fall Prevention Opportunities among Hospital Employees, Emily C Piercy, EdD, MSN, RN, CNE.

Baptist Health Paducah

Psychosocial Distress Assessment in Outpatient Chemo Patients in a Rural Community Hospital: Process Improvement – Kim Brown, BSN, RN, ONC and Teresa Pritchett, BSN, RN, ONC

Vascular Access Team: A retrospective review of patient outcomes in a rural community hospital – Stacey Oddera, BSN, RN, Amanda Lynch, BSN, RN, and Thomas Savage, BSN, RN

Does a dedicated education unit improve the perception of competence/ confidence in new RNs, patient experience, and staff retention? – Tracy Phillips, DNP, RN, NE-BC and Tracy Wells, BSN, RN

Hybrid unit meeting model – Robin Cooper King, RN, BSN, MS, NE-BC , Lisa Parnell, PhD, RN, Sarah Lamb, BSN, RN, Cheryl Johnson, BSN, RN, Pam Courtney, BSN, BS, RN, Tracy Phillips, DNP, RN, NE-BC

Direct Care Nurse Interruptions: A Concurrent Study of Frequency and Cause of Phone Calls – Sherri Lynn, BSN, RN and Gloria Tarver, BSN, RN

Baptist Health Paducah partnership with Murray State University

Self-Management of COPD – LaShae Petty, BSN, RN, DNP student and Karon Curtis, MSN, ARNP

Spiritual Care in Acute Care – Erica Price, BSN, RN, DNP student


The BHLex Nursing and Allied Health Research Office

In 2008, administration and a faculty member at the University of Kentucky, College of Nursing, initiated a plan designed to develop and support a culture of inquiry throughout the hospital. According to this plan, hospital employees would have access to a consultant who would assist them to design a study on a topic of interest, conduct the study and publish the results.

Achievements fifteen years later include: 91 publications in peer reviewed journals, 44 citations of these publications across the country and 64 around the globe (see Map) the development and publication of 9 instruments assessing various issues within healthcare, funding for 17 studies, 2 Exemplars from Magnet assessments related to research, 12 interactions (annual average) with employee/students supporting their pursuit of advanced degrees and 26 meetings with nurses on their clinical ladder (annual average) guiding their career advancement in terms of research.

Study results have improved practice at the hospital and according to citations across the globe may have improved practice in other settings. Three consultants (two PhD prepared nurses and one PhD prepared physical therapist) are presently available to support employee research activities within the hospital. Nurses, physicians, psychologists, and physical, occupational and speech therapists, pharmacists, and radiation technologists have worked with the research consultants to conduct research. Advanced degrees are not a prerequisite for conducting a study. Two Associate Degree nurses have published findings from their research.

In addition to publishing the findings of meaningful studies, anecdotal data suggests that the availability of research consultants increases caregiver retention and well-being in the work environment. Employees can make a difference in their area of practice, advance their careers and continue their learning.

Philosophy: What We Believe

All employee caregivers are welcome to access consultation from research consultants. Unlike other research models, a graduate degree is not necessary to ask a question, conduct a study and publish findings. Two nurses prepared at the associate degree level have conducted research and published their findings in peer reviewed journals (Thompson, Moe, & Lewis, 2014) (Hahn, et al. 2015). Caregivers work closely and on a continuous basis with one or more consultants. As caregivers take on the investigator role, they meet with a consultant to narrow their question, access the literature, consider an appropriate design, discuss statistical analysis, write findings and submit results to an appropriate journal. The process takes as long as required to teach individuals how to conduct and publish research. The understanding developed between caregivers and consultants is clear: caregivers are the clinical experts, consultants are experts in relation to the research process.

Consultation: What we do

The BHLex consultation process is collegial in nature. Although consultants have PhDs, interactions are on a first name basis. Consultants “walk with” caregivers assisting them to thoroughly understand the research process. Application of each step on a project of interest is the basic teaching/learning method. Before initiating writing of a manuscript, caregiver/investigators have a clear understanding of the design of their studies and the statistics used to analyze findings. Consultants, as needed, will often “write with the investigator/s” in order to teach them how to write for publication. The book Establishing a Research Friendly Environment (Brockopp, D., Hill, K., Bugasjki, A. & Lengerich, (2018) describes the process used at BHLex to encourage and support improving practice through conducting research.

Consultants: Who We Are

The Nursing and Allied Health Research Office currently consists of a team of three PhD prepared research consultants. Two consultants are nurses, and one is a physical therapist. The office coordinator, Dorothy Brockopp, RN, MSN, PhD, FAAN, created the Nursing and Allied Health Research Office in 2008. Claire Davies, PT, PhD joined the Research Office in 2014. Martha Monroe, PhD, RN, joined the Research Office in 2020. Consultants have expertise in designing and conducting studies as well as statistical analysis skills. The three consultants are currently reviewers for 15 journals in areas of nursing and allied health.

Clinical Partners: Who We Serve

Any employee of Baptist Health Lexington (BHLex) who is questioning their practice and wants to find answers, is encouraged to visit the Nursing and Allied Health Research Office. Unlike the academic model, an advanced degree is not required to conduct a study and publish results. Employees from the disciplines of nursing, medicine, psychology, physical, occupational, and speech therapy, pharmacy, and radiation technology have conducted studies and published their findings in collaboration with research consultants. Many employees returning to school for advanced degrees work with consultants to design and implement final projects required by their programs. In addition, clinical nurses seeking to advance to higher levels on the hospital based clinical ladder come to the office to gain assistance with the 8 hours of research activity required. Activities can include collecting data for an ongoing study, leading a study, working with data, presenting/publishing findings, or conducting a brief review of the literature.

Outcomes: What We Have Done

The final Magnet® hospital reviews for the past two visits identified BHLex as an exemplar in the area of nursing and allied health research. Visitors reviewed a) the number of publications in peer reviewed journals since initiation of the office -91, b) study designs - quantitative, qualitative and psychometric, c) citations of publications across the country and the world – 44 states, 64 countries and d) funding for studies - 17. They also reviewed the instruments – 9, that have been developed, tested and published in areas ranging from nursing orientation to a falls risk assessment that is widely used throughout the country. Specific requests to the hospital to use the instruments developed at BHLex have come from Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, New York, and Florida. Individuals from Australia and New Zealand have also contacted the office regarding instrument use.


Findings from research supported by the NAHRO at BHLex has influenced healthcare throughout the United States and 63 other countries. Respect for clinical expertise, meaningful collegial working relationships and use of evidence to support care has led to the development of a culture of inquiry at this 434-bed Magnet re-designated community hospital. Anecdotal evidence related to support available through the NAHRO suggests that: a) caregivers want to work in settings that provide opportunities to go beyond day to day activities, b) employees are highly satisfied with the assistance they receive regarding their pursuit of advanced degrees, and c) the chance to improve patient care in the workplace is appealing.