Nursing Department and Prevention of Infections

Summary

The nursing department in Al Baraha Hospital plays a variety of important roles. In particular, this division is responsible to ensure that every patient receives timely and appropriate medical assistance. For example, one can speak about wound care, emergency nursing, counseling, bed care, and other services. Moreover, this department is obliged to assist other healthcare professionals, especially physicians. Additionally, the employees of this department often need to act as educators. These are some of the details that can be distinguished. The staff of this department includes 160 employees. Its annual budget equals $ 2.444. 000. Overall, this work of this department is regulated by the rules of several organizations such as the Dubai Health Authority or the UAE Ministry of Health. For example, one can speak about the Healthcare Facilities Regulation adopted by the UAE Ministry of Health (2013). It provides guidelines regarding such aspects as the registration of nurses or workplace practices like control of infection. This unit is located on the second floor of this department; nevertheless, nurses usually work in various parts of the building. The following chart illustrates the position of this department within the hospital

Nursing Department and Prevention of Infections

These are the main details that are important for the analysis of this department within Al Baraha Hospital and the evaluation of its performance.

Analysis

Quality

Overall, the employees of this department perceive quality as the degree to which healthcare services can meet the needs of patients and contribute to positive treatment outcomes. This definition of quality can often be used by researchers and healthcare administrators (Shippee-Rice, 2012, p. 7). In this case, one can speak about external customers, namely patients. While measuring the quality of their work, the employees carry out surveys of patients who are encouraged to express their opinions about the services that they received in Al Baraha Hospital. Much attention is also paid to the needs of physicians who rely on the assistance of nurses. Nevertheless, physicians do not take part in quality surveys. Additionally, they focus on such indicators as the number of patient falls or injuries. These quantitative indicators can throw light on the work of this department. Moreover, these surveys are included in the evaluation of individual performance. These are the main points that be made.

Innovation

Additionally, the employees of this department are actively engaged in innovation, which can be defined as the modification of existing processes and products in an effort to improve the treatment outcomes of patients. For example, they have developed a set of policies that can reduce the rate of re-admission to hospitals. In particular, they have identified at-risk groups of patients who are more likely to be re-admitted after discharge. Moreover, they suggested interventions necessary for decreasing the risk of readmission. It should be noted that such innovations are recognized and rewarded by the management. Furthermore, the need to encourage and promote regulation is embedded into the statutes of this department. Overall, such a policy is supported by researchers who believe that this approach is critical for improving the quality of patient care (Ostermeier, 2008, p. 41). This is one of the elements that can be singled out.

Performance

The performance of this department is evaluated according to the outcome of patients since they are the major priority of healthcare professionals. In particular, they concentrate on such quality indicators that are related to the activities of nurses. For example, one can mention the number of infections within a unit or fall rates. These results have regularly monitored the head of the department and hospital administration. Moreover, these results are considered by managers when they evaluate the performance of separate employees. This approach is premised on the assumption that nurses should focus on the minimization of risks to which a patient can be exposed within a hospital (Joel, 2013, p. 192). It is important to note that this department pays attention to the practices adopted in other organizations. Its employees are able to take part in conferences and seminars during which medical workers can describe new business practices. Additionally, the employees are encouraged to adopt evidence-based practices that have already been tested in other medical institutions. This approach contributes to the improvement of healthcare in Al-Baraha Hospital.

Productivity

Currently, this department applies a conventional approach to the measurement of productivity. In particular, it is described as the ratio of patient care hours per day to the salary given to the employees of the department. Furthermore, these statistical data are not actively monitored. The main drawback is that this approach is not directly related to the effectiveness of nurses and their skills.

Recommendations

It is possible to provide several recommendations to this department. First of all, they need to adopt a different approach to the measurement of productivity. For example, they can apply a cost-benefit analysis which can demonstrate whether this department effectively uses available resources. Additionally, while conducting quality surveys, they need to include physicians because these professionals are also important stakeholders who can express informed opinions about the quality of nurses’ work. Finally, they should study the ways in which productivity is measured in other medical organizations. These are the key points that should be considered.

Prevention and Control of Infection Unit

Prevention and Control of Infection Unit are responsible for protecting patients and medical workers from the threats of various infections. This department is obliged to develop procedures and methods that can be used to identify the sources of infection and eliminate them. Their work is related to such aspects as the management of waste, the use of protective tools such as masks, and personal hygiene. Additionally, they take part in the development of training programs for employees. This unit is governed by the Healthcare Facilities Regulation implemented by the UAE Ministry of Health (2013). This document contains several provisions related to the control of infections within medical organizations. This department is subordinate to hospital administration. This unit is located on the first floor of this department. Currently, it includes three employees, while its annual budget is $144.000. The position of this department within Al Baraha hospital can be illustrated with the help of the following chart.

Prevention and Control of Infection Unit

Analysis

Overall, the definition of quality adopted in this department is derived directly from the functions that employees need to perform. In particular, they attach importance to the ability of the unit to shield patients and medical workers from the risks of infection. In this case, patients and healthcare professionals can be described as external and internal customers. They focus on such indicators as the rate of infections acquired within a hospital. It should be mentioned these statistical data are consistently monitored. They are of great importance to hospital administration. Nevertheless, these results are not always related to the performance of separate employees working in this unit. To some degree, this policy can be explained by the number of infections within a hospital depending on the skills and expertise of other healthcare professionals (Wilson, 2006, p. 46). This is one of the shortcomings that should not be overlooked.

In this context, innovation can be described as the improvement of processes and technologies that are necessary for the control and prevention of infections. In particular, one can speak about the changes in existing processes and technologies. For example, the workers of this unit suggested procedures that can significantly reduce the risk of urinary tract infection. Such recommendations are supported by the management, and they are reflected in the compensation offered to any employee who made valuable recommendations. Thus, the internal policies of this unit are conducive to the improvement of patient care within Al Baraha Hospital. These are the main issues that can be identified.

The performance of this unit is also related to patient outcomes. They regularly monitor the number of infections that patients or medical workers could have acquired in Al Baraha Hospital. Thus, one can say that they focus mostly on quantitative indicators. These results are reviewed by the administration. Moreover, they compare these results with the data provided by other medical organizations. Furthermore, the employees of this unit pay close attention to the practices that have been already applied in other hospitals. This approach is vital for improving the control of infection in this organization (Minnaar, 2008, p. 6). Nevertheless, one should keep in mind that these results can also be attributed to the behavior of other medical workers such as physicians and nurses. This is why it is difficult to include these results while considering the performance of separate individuals.

The productivity standards are not clearly identified by this organization because it is rather difficult to describe specific outputs which are dependent only on this particular unit. Nevertheless, they focus on such criteria as the cost-efficiency of their programs. These quantitative indicators are monitored by the senior management. For example, one can speak about the amount of money invested in a particular program and the improvement that it can bring. In this context, the word improvement can be defined as the reduction in the number of hospital-acquired infections. Additionally, the employees of this department study the strategies adopted by other infection control units in other medical organizations. In particular, they focus on the way in which similar departments assess their productivity.

Recommendations

There are several recommendations that this department may consider. The employees of this unit should have an opportunity to take part in conferences and workshops which are related to the control of infection. In this way, they can learn more about the most recent innovations in this field (Eliott 2008). More attention should be paid to the review of cases that resulted in the infection of a patient or a medical worker. This approach is useful for identifying possible mistakes and avoiding them in the future (Wenzel 2003, p. 38). Additionally, they need to carry out a survey of physicians and nurses who can explain the factors of the risk of infections. This information may be critical for improving the training programs. These are the main details that should be considered. These recommendations can benefit both patients, physicians, and nurses.

References

Eliott, P 2008, Infection Control: A Psychosocial Approach to Changing Practice, Radcliffe Publishing, New York.

Joel, L 2013, Advanced Practice Nursing: Essentials of Role Development, F.A. Davis, London.

Minnaar, A 2008, Infection Control Made Easy: A Hospital Guide for Health Professionals, Juta and Company Ltd, Boston.

Ostermeier, L 2008, Nurse Retention Toolkit: Everyday Ways to Recognize and Reward, HC Pro, Inc, New York.

Shippee-Rice, R 2012, Gerioperative Nursing Care: Principles and Practices of Surgical Care for the Older Adult, New York: Springer Publishing Company.

UAE Ministry of Health, 2013, Healthcare Facilities Regulation, Web.

Wenzel, R 2003, A Guide to Infection Control in the Hospital, PMPH-USA, Philadelphia.

Wilson, J 2006, Infection Control in Clinical Practice, Elsevier Health Sciences, New York.