It is important to note that the proposed continuous quality improvement plan is designed to reduce the risks associated with nosocomial infections, and medical errors, as well as bring enhanced patient safety at the We Care Hospital. The change will be determined and identified as an improvement based on reduced rates in numbers of nosocomial infections and medical errors compared to the past year. In other words, the key target performance measures will be utilized as a metric of comprehensive evaluation with an emphasis on patient safety improvement in both regards. To achieve these objectives and aims, correct changes need to be implemented.
Considering the current public health situation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, it is evident that the virus is a major risk factor in terms of nosocomial infections. A study suggests that healthcare professionals must be protected with proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when providing care to patients to prevent exposure to COVID-19 (Graham & Woodhead, 2021). Therefore, the quality improvement plan needs to be highly precise and strategic to be able to monitor progression. Another major planned change is centered around nosocomial infection surveillance, which needs to be the core aim alongside PPE implementation to achieve the expected outcome of a reduction in hospital-acquired infections. It is stated that “continuous surveillance has a positive impact on reducing Nis … hospitals need to consider participant in NIs surveillance” (Li et al., 2017, p. 164). Hospital-acquired infections are typically acquired because patients were exposed to other infections or developed antibiotic resistance, resulting in increased severity and complications (Johnson & Sollecito, 2020). Thus, there is a strong need to include rate reduction in the continuous quality improvement process.
In the case of medical errors, the given part of the plan needs to be comprised of several steps of balancing between standardization and error management. A study suggests that “the highest level of error reduction is found in circumstances in which employees are granted a high degree of discretion, standardization rigidity is intermediate and, as a result, adherence to standardization is high” (Nissinboim & Naveh, 2018, p. 43). In other words, standardization is effective to a certain extent to make the procedures and processes more consistent, but medical experts need to be given room for autonomy and choice-making to introduce flexibility. Therefore, decision-making by healthcare specialists is free of medical errors if only they have some rigidity from standardization, but also some flexibility from autonomy.
The plan execution will be focused on incorporating precise and procedural changes to the healthcare provision process with an objective and strategy of nosocomial infection rate reduction as well as medical error management. In the case of hospital-acquired infections, continuous surveillance and PPE will be of critical importance since they are the main preventers of these issues. PPE will require more funding from the financial department by allocating larger sums in the budget plan since the reduction of nosocomial infections is a core aim and expected outcome with resources being a determinant. The latter change needs also to be accompanied by a shift in continuous surveillance, which refers to a constant monitoring process of hospital-acquired infections. This measure will require a determinant, such as a dedicated team tasked to analyze each patient on his or her primary concern condition alongside secondary issues acquired at the hospital. Since We Care Hospital is mostly reliant on standardization protocols of action, more autonomy needs to be granted to healthcare professionals at the facility to reduce medical errors.
The most relevant implementation outcomes are critical to implementing the change will be reflected in early-phase plan integration surveys among the staff. For example, healthcare professionals can be surveyed regarding their perceived choice-making or autonomy increase as an indicator that the plan has an effect. In addition, direct changes in the budgeting plan and resource allocation can be observed, which are needed for PPE purchase and the creation of the surveillance team. The core metrics of evaluation will constantly be under the monitoring process, which includes medical error rate as well as hospital-acquired infection rate. It should be noted that both nosocomial infections and medical errors will be primary factors impeding the achievement of the plan-related strategic aims of improved patient safety at We Care Hospital.
As soon as noticeable and systemic changes are introduced and properly established, the main implementation strategy will be the continuous reduction of medical error rate and nosocomial infection rate. The gradual and constant progression towards minimization of their occurrences will be the cornerstone of the plan and integration strategy aimed to improve patient safety. The main reason is that these two factors are the core hindrances at We Care Hospital. In addition, at the end of the year, the healthcare professional team, patients, and managers can be surveyed to obtain a different perspective on the outcomes derived from the plan and strategy. These sources will provide both perceived and objective data on how the plan was executed.
Graham, R. N. J., & Woodhead, T. (2021). Leadership for continuous improvement in healthcare during the time of COVID-19. Clinical Radiology, 76(1), 67-72.
Johnson, J. K., & Sollecito, W. A. (2020). McLaughlin and Kaluzny’s continuous quality improvement in health care. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Li, Y., Gong, Z., Lu, Y., Hu, G., Cai, R., & Chen, Z. (2017). Impact of nosocomial infections surveillance on nosocomial infection rates: A systematic review. International Journal of Surgery, 42, 164–169.
Nissinboim, N., & Naveh, E. (2018). Process standardization and error reduction: A revisit from a choice approach. Safety Science, 103, 43–50.