Impact Report to Senior Leadership in Nursing

Introduction

Nursing leadership is essential for any medical organization that seeks to provide consistent and high-quality care to its patients. It focuses the efforts of the nursing professionals on the standards that need to be followed. Issues may occur, however, and they have to be addressed. This paper will examine a nursing challenge of patient safety in the current medical facility, as well as the new nursing position that may successfully address the issue.

Patient Safety Nursing Challenge in the General Hospital

Patient safety is one of the primary goals of any medical institution. However, due to various factors, such safety may be less than certain. Unsafe patient care practices may lead to worse patient outcomes, loss of morale among the staff, and poor reputation of the facility. These negative outcomes have a strong effect on the community health, as well as the workflow of the hospital. The effect on nurses during such issues is also significant as the emotional impact of the patient safety issues may lead to increased burnout, additional mistakes, and lower productivity of the nurse.

The most common issue that in recent months became prominent in the development of pressure ulcers in hospitalized patients. This issue has been on the rise on a national scale, but the facility was not prepared to address it in time. Pressure ulcers develop during the long-term hospital stay for a variety of reasons. They may include malnutrition, lack of proper bedding surface, ineffective skincare products, and a variety of other factors (Coleman et al., 2013). The primary reason for this occurrence in the current medical facility is the lack of advanced skincare products that need to be regularly used as a preventative measure.

The system theory states that even small parts of an organization can have a significant effect on its operation (Alligood, 2013). Safety issues may lead to further complications in patients who are being treated currently. They increase the risk of litigation for mistreatment and may create a negative public image of the facility. There and other possibilities put additional attention on the issue of patient safety.

Safety Issues and the Organization

For the last 40 years, the general hospital has been the primary medical facility in its area of operation. The focus on quality care and a high level of patient satisfaction has become its core values. The vision and mission of the organization are both dedicated to the provision of affordable care to the largest number of people possible. All these aspects, however, are reliant on the medical staff’s ability to provide safe hospital procedures.

The increased number of pressure ulcer development among patients has contradicted the original position of the hospital, including its core values. This increase can be blamed on the lack of foresight among the nursing professionals to prioritize this issue, as not all the precautions were taken, and some of the procedures were overlooked. The previously stable condition of the hospital could have led to a latent failure of the system (Lawton et al., 2012). The quality improvement process has stagnated over the years due to continuous positive nursing indicators, as suggested by the systems theory. A culture of safety has to be established through constant improvement of quality.

The issue of patient safety requires further analysis to reveal the factors that led to its occurrence. One of the most commonly used analytical tools is the SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.” The analysis will be used to examine all the possible external and internal factors that could have caused this issue, as well as other areas that might require additional attention.

SWOT Analysis of the Issue

Although some of the possible factors that led to the occurrence of the issue have been identified, the SWOT analysis will provide a more detailed examination of the situation. It would also provide information that could be used in the solution of the issue and eventual elimination of the gap present between the mission of the organization and its current state. Strengths and weaknesses show the internal factors of the organization, while opportunities and threats are focused on external ones.

Strengths
  • Strong positive image
  • Experienced staff
  • Affordable care
  • Dedication to quality care
  • Long history of positive outcomes
Weaknesses
  • Insufficient budget to purchase extra medical supplies
  • Insufficient improvement over a long period of time
  • Danger of increased work burnout for the staff
Opportunities
  • Creation of a new nurse leadership position to address the issue
  • Implementation of new safety standards for patient care
  • Reduced stress for the staff
Threats
  • Federal budget cuts may lead to lack of funds
  • Increase in competition among medical organizations

Table 1. SWOT Analysis.

The largest issue of the organization lies in need for additional funds in case extra supplies are required. The issue of pressure ulcers has not been examined until recently, and the supplies to deal with it are often low on the priority list. If the threat of federal budget cuts proves to be substantial, the hospital may be left without any funds to supply those resources. Without advanced skin medication and other supplies, the issue will likely remain.

The primary opportunity was revealed to be the creation of a new leadership position which may address the issue of patient safety. The new position will be responsible for the implementation and maintenance of new safety standards. Subsequently, it could reduce the stress caused by this issue.

The New Leadership Position

The new leadership position would be titled patient safety officer, and its responsibilities will include research on the most relevant safety measures, their implementation, and evaluation of their outcomes. The key competencies of the PSO include the knowledge of the health care environment, leadership skills, and proper attitudes (Weiss & Tappen, 2014). The knowledge of the environment is required to make correct decisions, leadership skills enable smooth implementation through knowledge of systems theory, and attitudes enable the leader to choose the right approach to the problem.

Patient outcomes should be positively affected by the actions of the new leadership position. Specifically for the issue of pressure ulcers, implementation of preventative measures into the health practices of the hospital will likely prevent the majority of cases. The PSO would also address the systematic effect of morale loss that the staff experiences during adverse patient safety events. Subsequently, the additional mistakes caused by stress should become a rarity.

Conclusion

Nursing leadership is an extremely effective factor. Patient safety issues may have a significant effect on the work of the hospital. However, they may be addressed through the creation of a new leadership position.

References

Alligood, M. (2013). Nursing theorists and their work (8th ed.). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Coleman, S., Gorecki, C., Nelson, E., Closs, S., Defloor, T., Halfens, R., … Nixon J. (2013). Patient risk factors for pressure ulcer development: Systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 50(7), 974-1003.

Lawton, R., Carruthers, S., Gardner, P., Wright, J., & McEachan, R. R. C. (2012). Identifying the latent failures underpinning medication administration errors: An exploratory study. Health Services Research, 47(4), 1437–1459

Weiss, S., & Tappen, R. (2014). Essentials of nursing leadership and management. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.