Essay: Role of Nurse in improving hospitals’ quality and efficiency

The Health Care Industry is one of the most important industries if not the most important one. The Health Care industry consists of everything from the little pharmacy across the street, drugs processing plants all the way to the hospital where we immune our kids. The Health Care industry affects nearly every living person. Most people don’t realize how important this industry is and how it affects their everyday lives, not to mention how complicated it is. That is why it is so critical that products and services of this industry are at their highest quality and are free of harm to ensure that the consumer will not face any damaging consequences. Therefore, as any other industry, quality in the health care system has become the element in the world’s market competition and Total Quality Management (TQM) plays a big role in promising that result.

Nurses are directly involved in almost all aspects of hospital quality, including patient care, bedside and medication management, assistance with surgeries and other major operations, data collection/reporting, and more.

Furthermore, nurses are directly responsible for monitoring and assessing patients, and performing immediate interventions to reduce risk or prevent medical complications. Nurses also oversee other care providers, i.e. CNAs, LPNs, patient care technicians, caregivers, and more. An attending nurse even helps educate patients and family members regarding post hospital care, before discharge.

Demand for Hospital Quality Improvement:

The demand for quality improvement in hospitals is ever increasing due to federal government mandates, as well as local requirements, accreditation or regulatory boards, hospital organizations, medical societies, non-profit organizations (NGOs) and health insurance plans. Core qualities reported may vary in terms of target medical concern or hospital department, but in most cases, employee and patient feedback is included in the measurement.

Magnet Recognition:

Among numerous programs demanding or requesting hospital quality improvement, the most relevant for nurses is the Magnet Recognition. It was developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) – a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association – in order to recognize hospitals which provide nursing excellence. 

The Magnet Recognition program is based on an appraisal consisting of 14 characteristics. Foundationally, Magnet looks for a strong presence of nurses in the organizational committee structure of hospitals – including executive functions – empowering nurses in all levels to have a voice in hospital processes. While Magnet was originally focused on recognizing hospitals with higher nurse retention, there are researchers which have proven that Magnet-awarded medical institutions boast of lower mortality rates and higher hospital quality care in general.

Challenges Involved

Some of the usual hindrances involved revolve around nurses. Problems include inadequate staffing or uneven distribution of schedules, demanding responsibility which covers all aspects of patient care, ineffective nurse training, inefficient administrative tasks, and traditional nursing education, which often clashes with advancing nursing techniques.

Staffing and Patient Care Quality

In relation to staffing and scheduling, research from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) pointed out the direct connection between hospital care quality and nurse staffing. 

Staffing is directly related to hospital budget considerations as well as the demand of the local labor market for nurses. Quality of care, on the other hand, is dependent on various factors, such as a nurse’s experience, skills, and education. Another important aspect is the human factor. Fatigue and stress can lead to a decline in patient care quality due to errors in medication, treatment, usage of medical devices, data reporting, and more.

In conclusion, Healthcare organizations are required to focus on total quality improvement and providing acceptable, quality health services to patients at affordable price within reasonable price, within in a reasonable time. We have learned by past experiences as Nightingale’s efforts to improve the quality of medical care. The Health Care Industry is one of the most important industries if not the most important one.

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