The system of health care is in need for reforms to meet the growing demands of the consumers. The initiatives directed at quality and performance improvement are the moving forces of the changes in the United States healthcare system (Weston & Roberts, 2013). The aim of these initiatives reflect the core goals of National Quality Strategy. They comprise “Better Care, Healthy People/Healthy Communities, and Affordable Care” (Weston & Roberts, 2013, par.1).
Thus, the aims are to improve the patient’s experience of care, promote the population’s health, and minimize healthcare costs (Weston & Roberts, 2013). The patients want to feel safe and receive the necessary treatment for the money they pay. The primary goal of nursing is to provide the efficient patient care. That is why the activity of nursing leaders and managers should be concentrated on organizing the nursing activity within their health care facilities to arrange the continuous quality improvement which is closely connected with patient satisfaction.
Leadership and Management
Since the patient safety is a burning issue of the contemporary health care, the activity of nursing leaders and health acre managers should be directed to the solution of this problem. According to the Institute of Medicine (as cited in McFadden, Stock, & Gowen, 2014, p.2), patient safety is characterized as “freedom from accidental injury,” and medical error is treated as “the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim.” Thus, patients’ safety can be increased through the minimization of failure possibilities which depends on the experience and qualification of the personnel at the health care facility.
Consequently, nursing leaders and managers should motivate the nurses to improve the quality of their work. The continuous quality improvement can be treated as a preventive strategy. It is aimed at the supply of the highest quality care due to the optimizing of processes and activities.
Approaches to Problem-Solving
The initiatives aimed at the continuous quality improvement have been successfully implemented since the 1980s (McFadden et al., 2014). However, these activities were not regular and thus not very efficient. Douglas and Judge state (as cited in McFadden et al., 2014, p.2) that the effective continuous quality improvement needs “a strong organizational climate.” The nurses who value their work and are motivated in the further development are sure to demonstrate better quality of care. The study by McFadden et al. (2014) provides the analysis of continuous quality improvement implementation and its influence on patient safety outcomes and process quality.
The research reveals some observations of the relationship between safety and quality. It is stated that quality and safety are not the equal and can negatively influence each other (McFadden et al., 2014). This fact may be conditioned by the different objectives that are in focus of safety and quality. Another finding of this research is the proof of the importance of leadership. It is stated that the employees need a strong safety climate to provide the efficient work. Thus, the executive leadership should be active in creating such climate.
The research by Weston and Roberts (2013) provides the approaches to the improvement of health care quality improvement. One of them includes the support of “patient-centeredness through technology” (Weston & Roberts, 2013, par.5). This approach includes the following strategies. First of all, patient engagement can be used. The broader access of patients to their health information can contribute to the continuity of care. Secondly, it is suggested to use data to support clinical decision making and quality care.
It means the application of IT tools to provide patient care of high quality. These tools include “documentation systems that support nursing workflow, and clinical decision support (CDS) built into the documentation, and data to monitor improvements” (Weston & Roberts, 2013, par.8).
The third suggestion comprises supply and equipment tracking. The authors state that ineffective communication or location may have a negative influence on both patients and nurses (Weston & Roberts, 2013). Thus, the patient flow and functioning of hospital facilities should be centralized to avoid the waste of time and improve the care outcomes. Finally, the patient safety and the growth of workflow effectiveness should be regarded.
As for patient satisfaction, the study by Alasad, Tabar, and AbuRuz (2015) suggests the results of a survey measuring its outcomes. It is evident that patient satisfaction is an integral component of health care. The researchers agree that quality of nursing care has a substantial impact on patient satisfaction. They define the quality of nursing care as “care carried out by nurses meeting the patient’s expectations” (Alasad et al., 2015, p.563).
The research showed the high scores of patient satisfaction (more than 90 percent). The responds influencing patients’ satisfaction included points such as “the amount of privacy nurses gave you,” “nurses’ awareness of your needs,” “nurses’ treatment to you as an individual,” how nurses listened to your worries and concerns,” etc. (Alasad et al., 2015, p. 565). Thus, patients valued personal attitude and attention more than professional skills which appeared in the middle of the list of items influencing satisfaction score.
I suppose that the nursing job demands great responsibility. The continuous quality improvement is its integral component. I believe that the inclination of nurses to improve their skills and professional qualities depends on their personality. However, it can be influenced by the nursing leaders and managers of healthcare facilities. Different theories suggest ways to achieve the patient’s satisfaction.
It should be the major motivation for nurses’ improvement and self-development. Although the quality of care has great meaning, the researches prove that patients value not only the professionalism and the quality of care, but also the personal approach and communication with nurses. Thus, the psychological and communicative aspects should be included in the programs of the continuous quality improvement.
On the whole, the system of health care is a complicated mechanism. It unites administrators, doctors, nurses and other participants who provide the care of the patients, their customers. The safety and quality of care are the core components that influence the customers’ satisfaction. Thus, the task of a health care facility is to provide patients with the necessary care. The high level of care can be achieved due to the continuous quality improvement of all participants of the treatment process.
The major role here belongs to nurses. Although doctors make diagnoses and plan the treatment, nurses spend more time with patients and thus have the impact on the care outcomes. Consequently, a professional nurse should possess the necessary skills and knowledge to provide the high-quality care and, as a result, achieve the patients’ satisfaction.
Alasad, J., Tabar, N.A., & AbuRuz, M.E. (2015). Patient satisfaction with nursing care: Measuring outcomes in an international study. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 45(11), 563-568. Web.
McFadden, K.L., Stock, G.N., & Gowen, C.R. (2014). Leadership, safety climate, and continuous quality improvement: Impact on process quality and patient safety. Walters Kluwer health, 40(1), 1-11. Web.
Weston, M., & Roberts, D. (2013). The influence of quality improvement efforts on patient outcomes and nursing work: A perspective from chief nursing officers at three large health systems”. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 18(3). Web.