What is Continuous Quality Improvement?- Definition, Process & Methodologies.
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With patients’ expectations becoming higher in regard to the care they receive and healthcare reimbursements becoming tighter, health care facilities are looking for new ways to change processes and increase their efficiency (Wood, 2012). Since many hospitals are looking how to reduce costs and improve patient outcome, the leaders and managers are commissioned to achieve those goals. For example, the manager can notify the staffing department about the floor census, and when there is a low census, nurses can be cancelled in advance. In the long run, the company can save money by planning ahead. The other reengineering is in work environment. In recent times, it is becoming more often that nursing and health care facilities are looking to redesign and reengineer to improve existing work environments and patient-centered workflows in order to enhance clinician and client satisfaction, client outcomes, and easier ways for clients to attain access for their healthcare information (Huber, 2014). For leaders or managers to recognize the reengineering process, they need to constantly focus on improvement. Safe environment, patient-nurse ratios, and acuity care are part of reengineering. Managers and leaders should seek feedback from staff to continue improvement on the units. Collaboration and feedback from staff can lead to higher patient satisfaction, which is very important for each leader, manager, and the whole organization. As a nurse manager or leader, I would look and see what is or is not working on the unit and make changes. I would work with the team of doctors, nurses, and social workers to help make sure that each patient is being assessed and treated in a timely manner, thus leading to a decreased length of stay and reduction in costs for the unit. I would also try to reengineer the unit by looking for ways to reduce waste and extra costs with regards to office supplies and materials.
Huber, D. (2014). Leadership and nursing care management (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier
Wood, D. (2012). Providers re-engineering healthcare for greater efficiency. Retrieved from:
Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is a management philosophy used by organizations to increase efficiency, reduce waste and increase staff and patient satisfaction (“What is Continuous Quality Improvement”, 2019). CQI is an ongoing process with continuous evaluations regarding how the organization is ran and areas for improvement. CQI places an emphasis on teamwork among all employees and all staff have a voice in the implementation of changes. The involvement in decision making encourages ownership in their roles. All nurses have a responsibility to adhere to the CQI philosophy in order to maximize job satisfaction as well as improve patient care outcomes.
My current workplace could benefit from CQI in the pre-operative area where hospital policies are not being followed per Anesthesiologist instruction. The standardized care and pre-operative protocols are not being followed for every patient in many cases in the interest of saving time per Anesthesia’s request. Pre-operative testing for blood sugars, EKG’s, pregnancy testing and other lab work is ordered per hospital protocol for many pre-operative patients’, but Anesthesia may decide to proceed to surgery without having these tests performed or not waiting for the results to be completed. The extra time that it takes to follow these protocols could result in fewer post-operative complications and fewer sentinel events. I believe that the very foundation of CQI is consistently following protocols.
What is Continuous Quality Improvement?- Definition, Process & Methodologies. (2019). Retrieved January 19, 2019, from https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-continuous-quality-improvement-definition-process-methodologies.html
According to Huber (2014), “continuous quality improvement is defined by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) as ‘a philosophy and attitude for analyzing capabilities and processes and improving them repeatedly to achieve customer satisfaction” (p. 286). To improve the quality and delivery of health care, continuous quality improvement is an important task for all nurses. Fostering workplace environments that value critical analysis to set goals and achieve improved outcomes should be central to the health care field. Huber (2014) further explains the concepts behind continuous quality improvement as “the concepts of leadership involvement, a commitment to customers’ needs, and understanding of the principle of process versus people, a devotion to data collection and analysis as the foundation for problem solving, and the view that inter-professional teams working within the processes that were under study were the experts and therefore best equipped to drive change and improvement” (p. 288). Continuous quality improvement requires the skills of many, but begins with leaders who create a culture committed to continuous quality improvement.
An example of continuous quality improvement is hourly rounding, which research has shown improves overall patient outcomes. According to The Sentinel Watch (2015), studies have shown hourly rounding resulted in “52% reduction in patient falls, 37% reduction in patient use of call bells/lights, 14% decline in skin breakdowns and pressure ulcers, [and] 12% increase in patient satisfaction ratings.” Hourly rounding was something supported by both hospitals I did clinicals at. One hospital had nurses sign on the white board in the patient’s room for each check each hour of their shift. It was effective in addressing patient needs in a timely manner and helped build rapport between nurses and patients. References
Huber, D.L. (2014). Leadership and nursing care management (5th Ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Saunders Elsevier.
The Sentinel Watch. (2015). About hourly rounding as an effective patient safety strategy. Retrieved from https://www.americansentinel.edu/blog/2015/06/02/hourly-rounding-is-an-effective-patient-safety-strategy/
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