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Safety and Quality Improvement in Healthcare Setting
1) The link between quality and safety in the healthcare setting
In most reports, quality and safety are often cited together, bringing out the link between the two concepts in a healthcare setting. Quality, defined as the degree to which individuals’ and population health services increases the likelihood of desired health outcomes, has a link with safety, in that for quality to be improved, there must be the safety of patients; thus safety is considered a significant component of quality ( Masters, 2018). Among the key attributes to the effective quality healthcare system is safety; hence the two are linked.
Safety is described as a risk reduction of unnecessary harm associated with healthcare providers to an acceptable minimum. The practices that are placed by healthcare facilities to improve the safety of patients in the healthcare setting improves the overall quality of healthcare. Therefore, safety and quality are terms used together. Adequate and proper safety offered to the patient’s results to improved the quality of healthcare services.
The safety of the patient is a cornerstone of quality health care. Most works are defining patient practices and safety that prevent harm focus on adverse outcomes of care like morbidity and mortality. Nurses are thus critical to the coordination that reduce such adverse outcomes. Increased patient safety should be a significant concern in health settings since it’s a crucial element in quality healthcare.
2) Role of Nurse in Quality Improvement
The role of a nurse in quality improvement relies on the ability of the nurse to analyze and collect the patient’s data. Nurses both on training and the experience have a significant role in participating in quality improvement initiatives (Masters, 2018). A novice nurse, in quality improvement, is involved in data collection and assisting with the improvement interventions. Conversely, the experienced nurse can take the lead in quality improvement initiatives in promoting quality improvement in healthcare settings.
The role of the nurse in quality improvement is more important in those hospitals which try to promote patient safety culture. Nurses who are registered often employ the techniques of quality improvement that were at one point used by quality assurance personnel. Nurses should always monitor the outcome of patients care processes using flow diagrams, spreadsheets, and computer programs to monitor and record data when they analyze clinical situations and problems.
Besides the process of data analysis, change, and monitoring that occurs in quality improvement routine cycle, nurses, are commonly involved in problem identification outside the ordinary data monitoring system routine (American Nurses Association, 2015). The nurses can initiate the quality improvement process based on clinical issues observations in daily practice. The view of the clinical issues may lead to the conduct of health record audits to make a comparison of care provided to evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. The outcomes of such a health records audit can lead to the development of a quality improvement plan. Nursing Sensitive Measures and their Importance in Nursing Care Delivery
Nursing sensitive measures are identified as a patient-related process or structured variables that function as proxies to the process and outcomes that reflect the nurse-quality relationship (Masters, 2018). The nurse-sensitive measures are compiles through a consensus development process. The measures are identified in three domains; nursing centered measures, patient-centered measures, and system-centered systems.
The nursing-sensitive measures are essential in nursing care delivery since they are suitable to reflect nursing care quality (Mangold & Pearson, 2017). They help the registered nurse inpatient quality improvement and safety by providing research-based comparative data on nursing care and the relationship to the outcomes of the patients.
Sensitive nursing measures are a reliable and valuable way of determining if nursing quality-improvement projects are effective and efficient. The nursing-sensitive measures additionally promote continual improvement in nursing safety and quality. It as well provides scientific evidence for detecting implementation efficacy and setting an implementation plan in nursing care.
American Nurses Association. (2015). Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (3rd ed.). Silver Spring, MD: Author.
Mangold, K., & Pearson, J. (2017). Making Sense of Nursing-Sensitive Quality Indicators. Journal for nurses in professional development, 33(3), 159-160.
Masters, K. (2018). Role development in professional nursing practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.