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Quality health care is the level to which the health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of the expected health outcomes that are consistent with the current professional knowledge. Most of the medical errors arise from the use of faulty systems and processes but also extends to human error. The main aims of effectiveness and safety in healthcare is to assess whether the providers perform the processes that have achieved the desired aims. The efforts to improve the quality of health care need to be measured to establish whether the improvement efforts lead to a change and also contribute to the desired results (Chassin & Loeb, 2011). The measures of quality and safety help to track the progress of quality improvement initiatives by use of external benchmarks.
From the scenario presented, it is important to implement certain quality improvement strategies to safeguard my role as an APN and also to assure patient safety. The adoption of a stable quality improvement strategy gives confidence to the staff, skills, and an appropriate approach to adopt in making changes. The quality improvement strategy should focus on changing the current systems and incorporating certain key aspects of systems and processes, focusing on the patients, focusing on being part of the improvement team, and focus on the use of the available data and information (Kaplan, Brady, et.al, 2010).
The quality improvement on the systems and processes requires an organization to understand own delivery systems as well as the key processes. It is important to review the office policies and procedures and also sensitize the entire staff about them and the need to change them according to the current demands. Among the required changes in office policies and procedures is regarding the non-urgent patient requests for prescriptions. There lacks the policy to guide the expected conduct when requested by a patient for an earlier prescription before diagnosis. Thus, quality improvement should focus on introducing such policies in the office procedures.
Another quality improvement strategy is to focus on the patient needs and expectations to ensure that they are met. There are several services that help to meet the needs of the patients as well as the community that include access to health care, evidence-based care provision, safety, patient engagement, cultural competence, and care coordination. Patient safety is an important aspect of health care and providers should ensure the accuracy of the medication lists as an effort to improve the patient safety (HRSA, n.d). The health care professionals ought to understand the benefits of implementing information technology to improve on the consistency and completeness of the medical documentation. The strategy also adds value to the processes and activities used for an effective workflow and proficiency in technology. Thus, the facility can adopt the use of an electronic medical record system to help in the improvement of the quality of medication documentation as well as authenticity in the processes.
A team based approach can also be an effective quality improvement strategy since it ensures that no one person in the organization knows all the dimensions of an issue. It involves working collaboratively with all the disciplines for the benefit of the patient. The solutions required and the decisions made ought to involve consultation among the different disciples to enhance the quality of care (Grol, Wensing, Eccles & Davis, 2013). Also important in quality improvement is focusing on the data which helps to describe how well systems work, the changes required, and also documenting successful performance.
Chassin, M. R., & Loeb, J. M. (2011) The ongoing quality improvement journey: next stop, high reliability. Health Affairs, 30(4), 559-568.
Grol, R., Wensing, M., Eccles, M., & Davis, D. (Eds.) (2013) Improving patient care: the implementation of change in healthcare: John Wiley & Sons
Kaplan, H. C., Brady, P. W., Dritz, M. C., Hooper, D. K., Linam, W., Froehle, C. M., & Margolis, P. (2010). The influence of context on quality improvement success in health care: a systematic review of the literature. Milbank Quarterly, 88(4), 500-559.
U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA) (n.d) Quality Improvement: Quality improvement and the Importance of QI
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