How nurses can use the change process effectively to promote positive outcomes in healthcare environments
The current healthcare environment has a number of challenges that are affecting the nursing profession. According to Tomajan (2012), rising cost of healthcare, shortage of nurses, technology and increasing patient population are among some of the challenges that are affecting the healthcare environment. However, these challenges present an opportunity for nurses to develop and promote the nursing profession through advocacy. Advocacy can only be effective if nurses work in collaboration with one another and other professions, which influence the healthcare environment. For instance working in collaboration with the information technology sector can greatly help in improving the development of technology that assist the nurses’ working environment and at the same time improve patient safety.
Proposed strategies for leadership development
Higher education is an important element in nursing leadership development. According to Schell and Kuntz (2013), nurses with only initial undergraduate degrees are normally not fully equipped with the necessary leadership skills. To ensure a smooth transition and development of nurses’ leadership roles, a recommended approach is the use of nurse residency program (Schell and Kuntz, 2013). This program will allow an easier transition from studies to practice. Additionally, another useful strategy incorporates the development of constructive relationships in the nursing environment. Nursing leaders need to develop a constructive relationship with their subordinates, which will foster communication. As a leader of a ward or department in nursing, involving staff in decision-making is critical. The involvement of staff in developing schedules and staffing programs can be effective in ensuring that there is a balanced staffing program, which can meet the demands of both the patients and the nurses (Tomajan, 2012). Tomajan (2012) indicates that developing governing structures that foster and encourage nursing decisions at the point of care is crucial in promoting nursing leadership. This has the effect of increasing patient outcome and encourages nursing input into organizational decision-making (Tomajan, 2012).
Schell, W. J., & Kuntz, S. W. (2013). Driving Change from the Middle: An Exploration of the Complementary Roles and Leadership Behaviors of Clinical Nurse Leaders and Engineers in Healthcare Process Improvement. Engineering Management Journal, 25(4), 33-43.
Tomajan, K. (2012). Advocating for Nurses and Nursing. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(1), 1.
Current healthcare trends
The use of information systems is effectively increasing patient safety. Healthcare organizations have increasingly migrated to the use of different technologies to handle and carry out day-to-day activities in the hospitals. For instance, the use of smart IV pumps aims to reduce medication errors. The challenge with the implementation of the smart IV pumps is the cost implications. Sufficient funds are required to have such facilities in the healthcare organization. Supporting the use of smart IV pumps can greatly assist in improving patient safety by reducing errors made by nurses (Carayon, Hundt and Wetterneck, 2010). The use of computerized provider order entry (CPOE) is also reduces medication errors. According to CPOE (2013), the use of an electronic ordering system decreases the chances of an error occurring by 48%. This can greatly save finances used in addressing issues resulting from medication errors. Further, with the adoption of the HITECH Act incentives, there will be an increase in adoption of information technology in healthcare (CPOE, 2013).
The adoption of healthcare insurance exchanges will likely affect healthcare providers by reducing the payment rates for their services. Nurses will have the opportunity to help people to understand and enroll in the health insurance exchanges program (Gardener, 2013). Furthermore, nurses will have the opportunity to take part in leadership positions that deal with policymaking. Moreover, nurses may take this opportunity to address old barriers to advance practice registered nurses (Gardener, 2013)
Carayon, P., Hundt, A., & Wetterneck, T. B. (2010). Nurses’ Acceptance of Smart IV pumps technology. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 79(6), 401-411.
CPOE systems can reduce drug errors by almost half. (2013). Formulary, 48(3), 117.
Gardner, D. B. (2013). Health Insurance Exchanges: A Call for Nursing Action. Nursing Economic$, 31(3), 152-154.