Improvementof Patient Safety
Improvementof Patient Safety
Quality improvement is an issue of fundamental significance in thehealthcare set up. However, hospitals have been unable to attain suchgoals for lack of appropriate frameworks efficiently. The healthsystems have not fully taken advantage of existing mechanisms toachieve the best patient outcomes. It is essential for institutionsto make use of the mechanisms in place to ensure that they achievethe best results. Patient safety remains to be of criticalsignificance in any healthcare set up. The paper will evaluate thequality and safe care as the fundamental quality improvementinitiative that health systems must attain to achieve.
Keywords:quality, safety, healthcare systems
Healthcare organizations have the mandate to ensure that they providethe best care to the patients. However, in the process of doing so,measures should be adopted that aim at ensuring that the kind of careprovided to the patients stands out and does not harm them. Theadoption of the quality improvement initiative will be instrumentalin resulting in the provision of the best care to the patient. Theeffect of such an approach is an improved patient outcome. Theability of healthcare professionals to guarantee safe patient care isdependent upon the adoption of particular strategies. The paper willfocus on the application of aspects such as the Malcolm BaldrigeNational Quality Award and Technology in the achievement of safepatient care provision.
Role of Technology in Provision of Quality and Safe Care toPatients
Technology continues to play a fundamental role when it comes to theachievement of the best patient outcomes. The increase intechnological advancements serves as an advantage especially to thehealthcare providers since it enhances the manner in which care isprovided to such patients. The significance of technology inhealthcare can be discussed at various levels.
Adoption of aCentralized Patient Database in the Country
Patients who present to the hospital have data regarding theiroverall condition in the hospital. Technology has made it possible toachieve the integration of systems such that the entire informationabout a particular patient is stored in a database. Through the same,it has become possible to retrieve data in a prompt manner beforeinitialization of care provision. The ability to access the patientdata through a centralized database makes it possible to guaranteequality and safe care since the possibility of errors being committedin the provision of care is significantly reduced. Unlike the casewas in the olden days when data had to be stored in the form of astack of papers, the use of technology has made it possible for thehealthcare practitioners to access the information in a matter ofseconds and initiate the process of care provision. The chances of aparticular practitioner committing an error are limited since data isstored in an electronic form. Because of the same, the adoption of acentralized database would be instrumental in improving the overallmanner in which care is provided to the patients. Accessibility toinformation is enhanced, and medics do not have to grapple with theidea of spending an enormous amount of time in accessing the data.The centralization of a database is essential for the achievement ofthe best care to the patients.
The successful provision of safe care to the patients significantlydepends on the availability of information about a particularpatient’s ailment. The internet has established itself as a vitaltool for research and is essential in the provision of quality caresince it provides the information related to various ailmentsaffecting patients. It enhances the entire process ofdecision-making which is essential in care provision (Jadad, Haynes,Hunt, & Browman, 2000). Notably, healthcare professionals benefitfrom the fact that they can understand the pathogenesis of aparticular disease a patient suffers from. Through the same, it hasbeen possible for the medics to ensure that the care provided to thepatients is indeed the right one and in line with the recognizedstandards as stated by the World Health Organization. The goal of anyhealthcare professional is to achieve the best patient outcomes.However, in doing so, the focus should be on ensuring that the careprovided is safe and will not subject the patient to furtherdetrimental conditions. It is out of the reasoning that the adoptionof the internet as a source of information in provision of care hasbecome prevalent. Quality improvement in the delivery of care ismandatory for the benefit of not only the patient but the doctor aswell. Therefore, the prime objective in the use of the internet is toensure that the patients are guaranteed safe care to their benefit.
Initially, medics used to rely on books published so many years agoto help them in the provision of care. However, through the internet,it has been possible to access medical information promptly. Throughthe same, the patients are guaranteed of access to safe care.Further, the internet has the advantage of having updatedinformation. Initially, the use of books was prevalent but to theextent that it could provide information that was relevant at thetime. However, as time passed by, the information contained in theparticular book became irrelevant and in some cases obsolete. Underthe circumstances, the provision of care to patients wassignificantly affected especially if the medic got access to obsoleteinformation. The safety of the patient was at stake because of thewrong information available in the books. Further, the informationprovided in the book was relevant to some of the diseases at thetime. As time passed by, numerous diseases have come up, anddifferent patients have found themselves suffering from conditionsthat are unique. Because of the same, the information provided in thebook became irrelevant hence the need to have a reliable source ofinformation. The internet has the benefit that it has manycontributors of the information enhancing the process ofdecision-making (Liberatore, & Nydick, 2008). For example, if apatient suffers from a particular disease such as osteoarthritis,there is a bulk of information regarding the disease. Differentauthors may have done research about the disease in various fieldsincluding the best treatment approaches and how best to manage thesame. The healthcare providers will have the benefit of comparing theinformation before deciding on which one to use in the provision ofcare to the patient through adoption of the health informationtechnologies (Lluch, 2011). Further, the update indicates what theaccepted form of treatment is. Healthcare providers will benefit fromthe fact that they can evaluate the information and use the same toprovide care through consultation of a comprehensive internet source.Under the circumstances, there is a high chance that the patientswill be guaranteed safe care through application of a variety ofsources. It is vital to acknowledge the fact that with the increasein technology, sources of medical information have become easilyavailable. There are numerous medical journals with information onvarious diseases. The healthcare professionals will be in a betterposition to execute the tasks assigned to them through evaluation ofthe different sources that are at their disposal. The ability to usethe internet in the provision of care can guarantee safe treatment ofthe patients. The effect is the realization of the best patientoutcomes.
EffectiveCommunication in the Hospitals
The ability to provide safe care to the patient is highly dependenton the existence of reliable channels of effective communication.Doctors, nurses and the support staff in the hospitals need to workin close coordination for the sake of realization of the best patientoutcomes. However, they can only do so through the appropriatecommunication methods. The physical environment in the hospital ishectic and sometimes may be strenuous. Because of the same, theprovision of care to the patients may be affected especially if thereis a communication breakdown. The quality of care provided to thepatients will be significantly affected by information that could beessential to the provision of care is impaired. Because of the same,it becomes mandatory to have an appropriate channel of communicationthat would result in the attainment of the best patient outcomes.
Role ofCommunication in Healthcare
Communication is essential because it determines the flow ofinformation in a healthcare set up. Particularly, it is vital toacknowledge the fact that through communication, doctors can giveinstructions to nurses on what is supposed to be done and in whatway. If the nurses miss the information, they may end up making amistake, which in some instance could be deadly. Cases have beenreported where physician error has resulted in the death of patients.Evidently, the ability of the patients to get safe and quality caredepends on the effectiveness of communication. The role ofcommunication in healthcare setups is fundamental to the provision ofthe best and reliable care. If a communication breakdown isencountered, the worst case scenario is the death of the patients.That would be a reflection of impairment of quality and safe careprovision.
CurrentStructures Available of Communication
Various systems exist for the enhancement of communication. Thecentralized and non-centralized systems are vital for the passage ofinformation between different individuals in the hospitals.Regardless of the method adopted for communication, there is need toensure the smoothness of the entire process as a way of guaranteeingthe patients safe care. Centralized communication is up-down andentails the passage of information from the seniors to the juniorstaff. It could be in the form of provision of instructions on aparticular issue related to the provision of care. It is vital thatthe transmission of information through this channel is useful.Through the same, it would be possible to get the best care. The sameapproach applies to a non-centralized form of communication.Regardless of the approach, it is vital to ensure that informationrelayed that would affect the provision of care is not impaired.Communication is an essential tool in enhancing quality improvementfor the patients.
Decision-makingProcess of the Healthcare Institutions
Systems must be enacted that seek to guarantee effectiveness in theentire process of decision-making. The healthcare setups are definedby the need to continually ensure that decisions are made that wouldaffect the provision of care to the patients. Healthcare providershave the mandate to make sure that whatever decision is made, thequality of care provided to the patients is not jeopardized. A wrongdecision made would mean that the safety of the patient is put atrisk. Because of the same, it is vital that effective decision-makingstructures are enacted in the hospitals that would guarantee theprovision of care to the patients. Through the same, it would bepossible to guarantee the delivery of quality and safe care to thepatient resulting in the achievement of the best patient outcomes.
TheMalcolm Baldrige Award
The award plays a fundamental role when it comes to the attainment ofthe best patient outcomes. Notably, it is vital to acknowledge thefact that the award is provided as a recognition of excellentperformance and innovation. The primary focus is on leaders to ensurethat they exhibit significant efforts to make sure that there areperformance and competitiveness in the field that one is engaging in.The Malcolm Baldrige Award has been identified as playing afundamental role in organizations for the role it plays in ensuringdedication towards the achievement of quality standards ofoperations. The award can equally be adopted for the healthcareorganizations that aim at ensuring they achieve quality care to thepatients. The goal of any given medical institution is to see to itthat there is quality in how operations are conducted. The executionof activities through the adoption of quality standards reflects thetype of care that the patients get.
2015–2016Baldrige Excellence Frameworks and Criteria
The healthcare system has adopted the 2015–2016 Baldrige ExcellenceFrameworks and Criteria as a way of helping organizations in theachievement of the identified goals and objectives. The criteria areparticularly effective when it comes to the need to focus on theprovision of quality and safe care to the patients. Through theapplication of safe standards of care, patients will be able tobenefit from the best patient outcomes while at the same timeenabling the hospital to achieve excellent results as relates toexecution of their services. The effective application of thecriteria will put the hospital in a better position to guaranteequality and safe care to the patients based on the fact that careproviders will be focused on the realization of the best outcomes.For example, the hospital could decide to set a goal aimed atensuring that they reduce patient deaths at a particular advantagesay 30% through the provision of quality and safe care. The decisionto set such a goal would be instrumental in enabling the organizationwork toward a clear goal that in the long run would be translated inthe best patient outcomes.
The framework is essential since it allows the entire healthcaresystem to focus on a given goal that is achievable. It will be anopportunity for the hospital to enact measures that are aimed at therealization of the identified goals. The benefit of the criteria isthat it outlines ways through which the established goals will beachieved (Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, 2016). Thehealthcare providers will be in a better position to understand whatis expected of them and use the criteria outlined by the BaldrigePerformance Excellence Program to work toward the reduction of theoverall patient deaths. The benefit of the program is that it isholistic and looks at all the areas affecting the hospitaloperations. It is mandatory to appreciate the fact that the programlays a foundation for the healthcare providers to commit toward theachievement of a given goal. Further, there is the benefit of aspectssuch as the possible challenges likely to be faced by the hospitalbeing taken into consideration. Therefore, as the hospital strives toattain the identified goals and objectives, such factors are equallyconsidered. However, in doing so, the medical practitioners do notforget the ultimate goal which is the reduction of deaths in thehospital by the set percentage through the provision of quality andsafe care.
Descriptionof Health Care Criteria Category
The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program has established sevencriteria that are used in the achievement of the best patientoutcomes. The criteria can be applied to ensure that the patientsattain quality and safe care in the course of treatment. Notably,areas such as leadership, strategies, workforce, results, measurementanalysis and knowledge management and customers have been identifiedas the essential categories in healthcare. Notably, leadership looksat the manner in which the managers execute the responsibilitiesbestowed on them to help in the attainment of the best patientoutcomes. If the hospitals decide that the goal is to achieve safecare for the patients, it is up to the managers to work through theestablished frameworks to assist in the achievement of such goals.
The strategy looks at the measures put in place to enable theachievement of such goals. For example, it could be beneficial to laythe framework on what can be done to ensure the implementation of theidentified goals. However, it is up to the leaders to make sure thatthe formulated plans are achieved despite the presence of potentialchallenges.
Next is the aspect of customers and the role they play in enablingthe organization to attain its objectives. Notably, feedback providedby the clients is essential in the provision of care (Ryan et al.,2001). The customers enable the organization to understand theparticular tastes and preferences. For example, customers coulddecide that they would love to be treated in a given manner. Therequirements of the patients will serve as the basis for delivery ofcare. Measurement analysis and knowledge evaluate the role ofmonetary and the financial data that can be used to enhance care. Theapproach can be adopted to ensure that safe care is provided to thepatients.
The operations evaluate aspects such as processes needed in thedelivery of care to the patients. They are of fundamentalsignificance since it determines what needs to be done to help in theachievement of the best care to the patient. Finally, the workforcecriterion looks at the aspects that can be enacted to ensure the bestmedics are retained in the hospital. The ability of a givenhealthcare organization to provide quality care to the patientsdepends on the nature of skilled personnel they have. An organizationendowed with the most skilled workers will be in a better position toprovide the best care to the patients. Through the same, it would bepossible to attain safe and quality care to the patients.
Finally, it is vital to ensure that their harmonization in the entireorganization’s management system. The process is essential in theimplementation of the factors identified. For example, about theaspect of patient care, item commentary can be adopted to help in theharmonization and integration of all factors aimed at the attainmentof the best patient care.
TheBaldrige Criteria 101
Knowing how to get started is the real problem when it comes toimplementing a plan. The three most important steps for anorganization that wants to use the Baldrige Criteria are defining thegroup’s mission, vision, and its values. The mission describes whatexactly the organization does. The vision describes what theorganization wants to become. The values of an institution define itsorganizational culture and how it adapts to change (BaldrigePerformance Excellence Program, 2015).
Overall, quality care improvement remains to be of fundamentalsignificance when it comes to the realization of the best patientoutcomes. Healthcare systems that adopt safe and quality care are ina better position to attain such goals. Because of the same, it isvital for the hospital to ensure that they enact mechanisms thatwould be instrumental in helping achieve the best patient outcomes.Notably, factors such as technology, effective communication, and theBaldrige Performance Excellence Program will play a decisive role inthe attainment of such goals.
BaldrigePerformance Excellence Program (August 31, 2016). How the BaldrigeProgram Supports Manufacturing Day 2016. 3 Nov. 2016
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