Applying Evidence to Improve Quality and Safety

Quality, Safety, and Costs

The relationships among safety, quality, and costs continue to attract the attention of many health specialists. The first issue to consider when explaining these relationships to the director and staff is how they promote the best health outcomes. Health care should be treated as a multidisciplinary practice that brings together many players in an attempt to deliver quality results. Many healthcare organizations focus on “the best practices that can deliver quality medical care while at the same time improving the level of safety” (Hughes, 2008, p. 6). In order to achieve these goals, practitioners should collaborate and promote the best health practices. Different “stakeholders should also be involved in order to achieve positive outcomes at lower costs” (Hughes, 2008, p. 12).

Evidence-based practices and use of modern medical technologies make it easier for healthcare institutions to reduce costs. It would also be appropriate to educate the targeted staff about the importance of care coordination. This approach aligns with different practices thus addressing the issues of costs, quality, and safety (Andel, Davidow, Hollander, & Moreno, 2012). Collaboration is a powerful approach that brings together patient advocates, nurses, physicians, family members, and health leaders. These individuals join hands in order to promote the best health practices, reduce medical errors, and deliver quality care to the targeted patients.

A proper understanding of these relationships will encourage more caregivers to focus on quality and maintain the highest level of safety. Stakeholders should join hands in order “to keep patients from getting hospital-acquired conditions or injuries” (Hughes, 2008, p. 9). The approach “helps patients heal without complications” (Andel et al., 2012, p. 8). This practice reduces the chances of re-hospitalization and healthcare costs.

Staff nurses should be involved throughout the healthcare process in order to produce quality results. The clinical question posed at the beginning of this course indicated that poor health practices increase the chances of re-hospitalization (Andel et al., 2012). Consequently, the quality of care decreases thus inflating medical costs. This fact explains why the director and members of staff should embrace the power of coordinated care. Nurses should be involved in order to present powerful skills and competencies.

Nursing care is appropriate because it maximizes patient outcomes. Nurses use their competencies to support the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health needs of their patients. They always use their competencies to empower, guide and treat their patients (Hughes, 2008). Such practices increase the outcomes of the targeted clients. The recommended outcome variable is the reduction of healthcare costs in the targeted institution. The targeted practitioners should come together in order to deliver quality care and improve patient safety.

Patient and Family Engagement

St. Louis Hospital can implement a new caring model to support the health needs of more patients and achieve its goals. Herrin et al. (2015) indicate that “patient engagement throughout the care process leads to measurable improvements in quality and safety” (p. 3). The engagement process should consider the needs of the patient and his or her family. Past studies have shown conclusively that patient and family engagement is a powerful practice that can transform the nature of healthcare delivery. This practice supports the needs of caregivers and their clients. The patients outline their health expectations thus making it possible for practitioners to offer evidence-based care (Carman et al., 2013). Family members present timely ideas and concepts that can improve the quality of care.

Families and patients tend to have unique healthcare concerns (Herrin et al., 2015). This is the case because people have diverse religious, emotional, spiritual, and cultural views. The engagement process makes it easier for caregivers to design the most appropriate caring model depending on the needs of the targeted patients. This argument explains why nurses and physicians should embrace the power of evidence-based practice. The practice addresses the needs of patients from diverse backgrounds. The concept of cultural competence should also be embraced. Continued patient and family engagement will eventually improve the quality of health support (Carman et al., 2013). This knowledge can therefore be used to design the most appropriate caring model for St. Louis Hospital. Mr. Lowell should be informed about the major benefits of family and patient engagement. This approach will outline the best practices that must be considered before implementing the proposed caring model.

The recommended caring model should there be implemented by all the workers, nurses, caregivers, and physicians in the institution. Healthcare workers will be required to “encourage patients and their family members to participate as advisors” (Carman et al., 2013, p. 226). The caregivers will also promote positive communication in every treatment process. The institution will be required “to implement safe continuity of care” (Herrin et al., 2015, p. 12). The patients and family members will be updated about every treatment process (Carman et al., 2013). The targeted family members should also “be engaged throughout the hospital stay and in discharge planning” (Herrin et al., 2015, p. 12). This caring model will eventually make St. Louis Hospital a leading provider of quality care.

Reference List

Andel, C., Davidow, S., Hollander, M., & Moreno, D. (2012). The Economics of Health Care Quality and Medical Errors. Journal of Health Care Finance, 39(1), 1-16.

Carman, K., Dardess, P., Maurer, M., Sofaer, S., Adams, K., Bechtel, C.,…Sweeney, J. (2013). Patient And Family Engagement: A Framework For Understanding The Elements And Developing Interventions And Policies. Health Affairs, 32(2), 223-231.

Herrin, J., Harris, K., Kenward, K., Hines, S., Joshi, M., & Frosch, D. (2015). Patient and Family Engagement: A Survey of US Hospital Practices. BMJ Quality and Safety, 10(1), 1-19.

Hughes, R. (2008). Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Web.

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