Quality Management in Nursing
Quality management is an integral part of healthcare that takes into consideration the needs of the patients as the central theme in the provision of qualitative service (Harris, 2006). The process involves the whole organization and it consists of a continuous improvement process for the whole organization (Harris, 2006). The system is evaluated at intervals to make sure that efficiency is improved thereby increasing the overall productivity of the organization towards a cost effective service delivery to patients (Hubner, 2006). The watchword is the maxim that there is always room for improvement.
In providing quality service to customers, it is important to provide information that is easily understood to the patients. Patients need accurate information to make informed decision on issues regarding their health. In addition, the hospital may need to make decisions regarding the health of individuals in situations when they are incapacitated and cannot make the decision on their own.
Another issue that must be taken seriously is that of Emergency services. It is important that the hospital tune up its emergency services so that patients who require urgent medical attention are able to get it as quickly as possible.
Moreover, it is the duty of the hospital to employ enough personnel so that patient care is not affected in any way. By staffing the hospital adequately, there would not be issues that may lead to excess workload to the nursing staff thereby leading to situations of medication errors, which would adversely affect the care of patients.
It is also important for the hospital management to make the environment conducive enough so that patients would participate actively in their treatment decisions.
In addition, the hospital management should ensure that patients' wishes are respected and that all and sundry receive equal treatment no matter their race, sex or religious disposition.
The hospital is also obliged to ensure that the confidentiality of patients can be guaranteed at all times.
There should also be provision made for complaints and appeals to be lodged by the patients in cases where they have not been treated in a fair manner. This will go a long way in improving the care delivery system of the hospital and ensure that the quality of patient care is not adversely affected.
The nurse manager can create a culture of practice improvement in several ways. Some of these ways would be mentioned below.
A strong leadership on the part o the nurse manager would ensure that the nurse manager takes charge of the situation at all times. The manager is proactive in all situations that warrant actions to be taken. This is bound to have a positive effect on patient care (Lankshear et al, 2005). In addition, there should be a feedback mechanism in which the nurse manager modifies laid down protocols based on evidence of either is positive effect or its negative effect (Sammer & James, 2011)
. The nurse manager should also imbibe a culture of teamwork in which all members of staff assume a role of shared responsibility in caring for all patients (McGills et al, 2004), (Shaffer & Tuttas, 2009),
(Lankshear et al, 2005), (Valentine et al, 2009). The positive effect of effective communication cannot be overemphasized. It is important for all members of the team to communicate effectively with one another and this would be an initiative of the nurse manager to ensure that the environment is conducive enough for such to be possible (McGills et al, 2004), (Sammer & James, 2011)
Every member of the team should also be humble enough to learn from one another. In this way, there would not be a deficiency of knowledge among the staff. This is also an initiative of the nurse manager. (Sammer & James, 2011)
C E Sammer & B R James (2011). Patient Safety Culture: The Nursing Unit Leader's Role. The Online Journal of issues in Nursing. American Nurses Association. Retrieved from on 9th October, 2012 from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-16-2011/No3-Sept-2011/Patient-Safety-Culture-and-Nursing-Unit-Leader.html
Harris, M. G. (Ed.). (2006). Managing health services: Concepts and practice (2nd ed.) (chap 16). Sydney: MacLennan & Petty.
Huber, D. (2006). Budgeting. In Leadership and nursing care management (3rd ed., pp. 771–788). Philadelphia: Saunders, Elsevier.
Lankshear, A. J., Sheldon, T. A., & Maynard, A. (2005, April–June). Nurse staffing and health care outcomes:
A systematic review of the international research evidence. Advances in Nursing Science, 28(2), 163–174.
Valentine, ZN., McKay, M., & Glassford, B. (2009). Getting ready for your next patient: Embedding quality into nursing practice, Nurse Leader, 9(3), 39-43
Shaffer, F., & Tuttas, C (2009). Nursing leadership’s responsibility for patient quality, safety and satisfaction: Current review and analysis.
McGillis Hall, L., & Doran, D. (2004, January–March). Nurse staffing, care delivery model and patient care quality. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 19(1), 27–33.