The Role of Quality and Safety in Nursing Science

Introduction

Nursing science plays a significant role in the healthcare industry. It is so because this branch aims at improving medical professionals’ performance and patients’ outcomes through the development of theoretical and practical concepts. It denotes that this science determines how health services are delivered. Thus, it is no surprise that many phenomena are involved, with quality and safety being them. The two are of importance in nursing science, and scientific evidence proves this claim. This paper will define quality and safety measures, offer a contemporary example of how they are applied in nursing science, and comment on their components that are needed to analyze a health care program’s outcomes.

Quality and Safety Measures

To begin with, one should explain what quality and safety measures are. On the one hand, nursing science draws significant attention to healthcare quality, meaning that specific phenomena are necessary to analyze. According to Adirim et al. (2017), quality measures are tools that allow for assessing and quantifying healthcare processes and outcomes. In other words, they help determine whether health services are appropriately delivered. On the other hand, safety measures focus on whether a healthcare setting is safe for medical professionals, patients, and their families. That is why it should be evident that these measures are versatile. For example, Steele Gray et al. (2015) focus on facility properties since they can influence employees’ sense of safety. Simultaneously, Ismail (2017) focuses on patient safety and considers other measures, including adverse events, injuries, mortality, and others. This information demonstrates that quality and safety measures deal with important information.

It is also reasonable to offer a detailed explanation of what role these measures have in nursing science. Adirim et al. (2017) report that quality measures improve patient experience, lead to better population health, reduce healthcare costs, and others. It represents a comprehensive approach to analyzing and affecting the delivery of medical services. Furthermore, such measures are essential since they reveal the organizational change commitment level. Uluskan et al. (2018) clarify that changes are crucial quality-improvement initiatives. Since nursing science tries to make the medical industry better, it is not a surprise that the quality measures are useful. As for safety measures, it is also challenging to overestimate their role. It relates to the fact that the patient safety concept helps nursing science ensure that medical settings do not provide individuals with additional harm. For example, Sloane et al. (2018) stipulate that the emphasis on medical professionals’ mistakes can help nursing science limit the number of such cases, contributing to better care. This information proves the claim that nursing science appreciates the measures under analysis.

Example of Quality Measures

When it comes to quality measures, one should admit that they represent three groups, including structure, process, and outcome. Adirim et al. (2017) explain that structure measures deal with resources and organizational characteristics, process ones focus on patient-medical professional interaction, while outcome measures analyze the effect of care. The given section will comment on how nursing science can apply process measures to achieve positive outcomes.

In the beginning, it is rational to offer specific examples of the phenomenon under consideration. According to Davies et al. (2019), some process measures include patient turnaround times, nursing time, nurse-patient ratio, and others. These factors indicate that emphasis is on how long patients stay in medical settings and whether they receive timely and adequate care. Once these measures are identified and analyzed, the obtained information can reveal that a healthcare establishment requires some changes to eliminate the existing issues. Thus, the following paragraphs will introduce an example of a quality improvement process.

Implementing a new quality initiative is a challenging and significant activity. Uluskan et al. (2018) clarify that positive results can be achieved if organizations rely on innovative methodologies and all their employees actively participate in the change process. Today, nursing science offers numerous methods to use quality measures and benefit from them, and Six Sigma is a requested option. That is why it is reasonable to demonstrate how this methodology works. To begin with, one should admit that Uluskan et al. (2018) justify the use of Six Sigma to implement quality improvement. Furthermore, it is necessary to consider a specific example of how the phenomenon under analysis is applied in nursing science.

Six Sigma is a practical approach to identifying the existing drawbacks within a healthcare setting. The study by Davies et al. (2019) offers an example of how the given methodology can improve quality measures regarding patient turnaround times, nursing time, and nurse-patient ratio. In particular, the scientists analyzed nurses’ workflows and time management to define existing issues. This step helped identify that the nurses spent abundant time away from their patients, and this fact required improvement (Davies et al., 2019). The 5s principle became the proposed intervention to ensure that healthcare professionals have sufficient resources to manage their time correctly (Davies et al., 2019). This information demonstrates that nursing science can rely on quality measures to identify the existing inefficiencies and offer practical strategies to overcome the challenges.

Safety Components for Analyzing a Healthcare Program’s Outcomes

The information above has demonstrated that quality improvement is a requested process in the medical industry, but it is also reasonable to draw sufficient attention to safety. It is so because all the attempts to improve care quality become useless if patient and employees’ safety is not addressed. Sloane et al. (2018) clarify that this phenomenon is of importance because people face more complicated risks, while health care becomes more complicated. That is why it is of crucial significance for nursing science to address the issue under consideration.

The discussion of safety should include the notification that this phenomenon is not homogenous. In particular, Ismail (2017) admits that patient safety consists of six components, including “state policy, diagnosis, medications, surgical operations, infections, and injuries” (p. 592). They clarify that numerous spheres influence patient safety, and this fact should deserve significant attention. For example, Ismail (2017) admits that state policy is essential because the lack of insurance can undermine safety. Furthermore, the surgery component also offers safety issues because poor decisions can significantly harm patients.

Thus, all the components above should be included to analyze a healthcare program’s outcomes. It is so because such programs typically aim at improving safety and quality of care. Consequently, the use of the state policy, medications, infections, and other components will help identify whether the proposed interventions lead to positive changes. One should state that all six elements are significant because they represent a comprehensive overview of the patient safety concept. They demonstrate whether a proposed program brings improvements to all the spheres that can decrease or improve safety.

Conclusion

Quality and safety measures play a significant role in modern nursing science. The reasoning behind this claim is that they focus on tools and indicators that reveal the levels of healthcare delivery and safety. In particular, quality measures lead to improved population health and decreased healthcare costs. Simultaneously, it is possible to witness patient and employees’ safety, and it ensures that a medical setting does not provide individuals with additional harmful factors. That is why it is challenging to overestimate the role of these phenomena in modern nursing science.

It has also been described how quality measures can be applied in practice. Process measures, including patient turnaround times, nursing time, and nurse-patient ratio, have exemplified the process. The appropriate paper section has demonstrated that the Six Sigma methodology is suitable for finding the existing issues regarding the phenomena above and offering possible solutions. Consequently, nursing science can rely on numerous quality measures to introduce improvement and make the medical industry better.

Finally, it has been stated that a few safety components are needed to analyze a healthcare program’s outcomes. Such outcomes typically relate to improvements and positive changes, and this process relies on six parts, including state policy, diagnosis, medications, surgery, infections, and injuries. They all are significant because they consider the issue of patient safety comprehensively. It means that the components identify whether safety issues are present at broad, state policy, or local, all the other, levels. This information allows ensuring that healthcare programs will contribute to positive changes. Thus, the data have demonstrated that quality and safety measures play a crucial role in nursing science to achieve better health outcomes.

References

Adirim, T., Meade, K., & Mistry, K. (2017). A new era in quality measurement: The development and application of quality measures. Pediatrics, 139(1). Web.

Allen, B. (2016). Effective design, implementation, and management of change in healthcare. Nursing Standard, 31(3), 58. Web.

Davies, C., Lyons, C., & Whyte, R. (2019). Optimizing nursing time in a day care unit: Quality improvement using Lean Six Sigma methodology. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 31(Supplement 1), 22-28. Web.

Ismail, M. N. b. I. (2017). Patient safety and its components. Patient Safety & Quality Improvement Journal, 5(4), 592-593.

Sloane, D. M., Smith, H. L., McHugh, M. D., & Aiken, L. H. (2018). Effect of changes in hospital nursing resources on improvements in patient safety and quality of care: A panel study. Medical Care, 56(12), 1001-1008. Web.

Steele Gray, C., Wilkinson, A., Alvaro, C., Wilkinson, K., & Harvey, M. (2015). Building resilience and organizational readiness during healthcare facility redevelopment transitions: Is it possible to thrive? HERD: Heath Environments Research & Design, 9(1), 10-33. Web.

Uluskan, M., McCreery, J. K., & Rothenberg, L. (2018). Impact of quality management practices on change readiness due to new quality implementations. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 9(3), 351-373. Web.