Quality improvement is a systematic framework used to improve the way care is offered to the patients. This is a systematic approach utilized by healthcare organizations to assess, monitor, and improve quality standards. Quality improvement has been a vital process that enables the healthcare providers to improve their services to the patients and thus have a chance to improve patient satisfaction. Quality improvement improves the healthcare setting, thus allowing the cost reduction in healthcare services and improvement and effectiveness of performance. This paper will identify and examine a quality improvement opportunity within the healthcare setting.
Overview of the Problem and Setting
The main problem within the healthcare setting is the high cases of medical errors that lead to death. Medical errors have been the leading cause of death, avoidable harm, and injury within the healthcare system. According to the world health organization, millions of patients have suffered or died due to medical errors. The main cause of medical errors is the lack of quality care, poor teamwork, and communication challenges among health professionals (Bari, Khan, and Rathore, 2016). For instance, ineffective labeling of medication, drugs, or patient bed may lead to the wrong administration of drugs to the wrong patient. Healthcare professions are reluctant to reporting medical errors due to disciplinary actions. However, failure to report medical errors has contributed to the likelihood of serious damages and harm to the patient’s health (Finn et al., 2018). Considerably, the case of medical errors would have led to an increase in the challenge of acquiring adequate resources required to provide reliable healthcare interventions.
Importance of the Quality Improvement Initiative and the Expected Outcome.
Virtually, many healthcare professionals have made medical errors that are often not told to patients or families. In clinical practices, medical errors are normal but underreported. Cases of medical errors in healthcare settings have had a devastating impact on the standards of practices within the care process (Bari, Khan & Rathore, 2016). For instance, there have been many deaths, injuries, and wrong medication in the patient care process. This has resulted in the need for developing strategies that will enable the nurses to minimize medical error issues. One of the major impacts of medical errors is the probability of the patients being given the wrong medication, resulting to more damages. This challenge may go to the extent of causing issues with the patient and the family due to unreliable patient care.
High medical errors will affect the quality and standards of care, influencing nurses’ ability to offer reliable patient care (Finn et al., 2018). The preventable medical errors may cause severe psychological, financial, and emotional stress to the management and the healthcare providers within the healthcare organization. Medical errors have resulted to mistrust and conflict with patients since the cost of hospitalization will increase. For instance, medical errors may lead to readmission due to the wrong medication. Therefore, this influences healthcare professionals’ ability to offer quality care, which results in the health professional losing their capacity and confidence in the provision of care. It is important to identify the risk factors linked to medical errors to focus on prevention and improved quality care in the healthcare system. Improving the quality of care will eliminate unreliable healthcare services and improve healthcare standards within healthcare organizations. Effective communication is expected to boost teamwork, collaboration, and understanding between the patients and the health professionals (Hassan, 2018). This will play a big role in eliminating medical errors that result from misunderstanding, poor decision making, and inadequate care.
Evidence in Support of the Quality Improvement Proposed.
Alotaibi & Federico (2017) argue that health information technology will improve health care safety and quality by fostering effective health communication processes between patients and care providers. This will play a great role in improving practice standards and health safety by lowering medical errors. Health information technology deals with the storing and using health care information data in decision making. Ideally, healthcare information will offer several benefits linked to transforming healthcare by lowering medical errors and improving communication processes. For instance, computerized order entry will improve the ordering of procedures, tests, and medications.
Finn et al., (2018) stated that medical errors had been a great challenge for many years, and thus, there is a need to develop measures that will prevent unreliable healthcare services. Hassan (2018) supported the implementation of strategies that will lower medical errors. For instance, this may include developing an effective communication process and channel for the patients to follow. Hassan (2018) stated that the main problem causing medical errors is ineffective communication between health professionals and patients. Bari, Khan & Rathore (2016) discussed how medical errors could be reduced through effective communication. The main communication issues within the healthcare setting include social setting, language barriers, and physical settings. Therefore, there is a need to develop strategies such as effective communication to prevent medication errors. The utilization of effective communication strategies will facilitate the elimination of medical errors while handling patients. This will allow the enhancement of standard practices and quality care in the healthcare setting.
Wang et al. (2015) carried out an effective study that has affirmed the importance of effective communication in developing reliable approaches to change that will enable interaction between the patients and the nurses. For instance, nurses’ communication before the exchange of shifts is essential in allowing the nurses to understand the medication and required procedures for each patient. Therefore, according to Wang et al. (2015), this will enhance teamwork among the healthcare providers and allow the elimination of medical errors that impact the standard practice of care.
Steps Necessary to Implement the Quality Improvement Initiative
The quality improvement initiative, in this case, entails the development of teamwork and effective communication. The first step in implementing the quality improvement initiative entails preparing a well-crafted action plan that states the goals, purpose, and overall strategies to meet the goals. This will indicate the specific actions taken to implement the selected interventions to address the identified problem. The second step is communication with the healthcare professions on the improvement initiative and the initiatives’ benefits. Communication is a vital aspect of the success of quality improvement initiatives. This is because it is an effective way to get different stakeholders’ attention to the initiative’s importance.
The next step will entail training healthcare providers on the communication processes and improving teamwork among healthcare providers. Training will create awareness to the healthcare providers on how they can rely on these strategies to improve the quality of care and standards of practice, such as lowering medical errors. The last step is evaluating and monitoring the initiatives to offer consistency and support for the plan. This will enable the healthcare organization to determine whether the initiative’s performance is adequate or outstanding and likely improve the quality of care.
The evaluation process is essential in determining the performance and progress of the quality improvement initiative. Therefore, the main aim of the quality improvement initiative was to lower medical errors. The evaluation process will be conducted through an assessment of success that will be achieved by reducing medical errors by health professionals. The assessment will be done by examining how new practices have influenced the standard of practice and care delivery. Therefore, quality care measures will be used to track the quality improvement initiative’s success and progress.
The quality improvement initiative focuses on improving teamwork and communication to reduce medical errors and improve quality care. The hypothesis is: Effective communication and teamwork will significantly lower the medical errors linked to healthcare practices as compared to poor teamwork and communication. By focusing on the initiative, healthcare professionals and organizations will understand the importance of communication and teamwork in reducing medical errors.
Quality improvement initiative is essential in implementing strategies that improve the standard of practice and quality care within the healthcare system. The initiative proposed effective teamwork and the communication process aims at lowering medical errors. The assessment process will be conducted to determine the variations in medical errors after implementing the initiative.
Alotaibi, Y., K., & Federico, F. (2017). The impact of health information technology on patient safety. Saudi medical journal, 38(12), 1173.
Bari, A., Khan, R. A., & Rathore, A. W. (2016). Medical errors; causes, consequences, emotional response, and resulting behavioral change. Pakistan journal of medical sciences, 32(3), 523.
Finn, K. M., Metlay, J. P., Chang, Y., Nagarur, A., Yang, S., Landrigan, C. P., & Iyasere, C. (2018). Effect of Increased Inpatient Attending Physician Supervision on Medical Errors, Patient Safety, and Resident Education: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Internal Medicine, 178(7), 952–959.
Gorbach, C., Blanton, L., Lukawski, B. A., Varkey, A. C., Pitman, E. P., & Garey, K. W. (2015). Frequency of and risk factors for medication errors by pharmacists during order verification in a tertiary care medical center. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 72(17), 1471-1474.
Hassan, I. (2018). Avoiding medication errors through effective communication in the healthcare environment. Movement, Health & Exercise, 7(1), 113-126.
Wang, H. F., Jin, J. F., Feng, X. Q., Huang, X., Zhu, L. L., Zhao, X. Y., & Zhou, Q. (2015). Quality improvements in decreasing medication administration errors made by nursing staff in an academic medical center hospital: a trend analysis during the journey to Joint Commission International accreditation and in the post-accreditation era. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 11, 393.