Quality of provided care is one of the most important factors that influences the successful outcome of treatment. Modern standards of care for medical facilities in Europe and the US are very high. Hospital managers are always looking to improve the quality of care in their facilities in order to satisfy the patients, improve their health, and improve the hospital’s reputation. The goal of this project is to analyze the key principles and offer possible solutions for quality improvement. The project will identify the main stakeholders involved in the process of improving quality of medical care, and provide a quality improvement framework based on modern practices and dedicated literature.
Quality Improvement Objectives
In order to achieve overall quality improvement in a medical facility, health managers must focus on three factors, which are:
The levels of motivation among nurses can impact the quality of healthcare in a positive or a negative way. A well-motivated nurse is more likely to show superior performance and a positive attitude, when tending to a patient’s needs (Huber, 2006, p. 163). Integration shows the degree of willingness among nurses and other medical staff to improve their efforts and overall quality of treatment. It is a very important factor, as some employees may be skeptical and unwilling to embrace change. Transparency is a factor important for healthcare managers, as it allows them to assess the quality of provided healthcare and react according to the situation.
The positive changes proposed in this research paper are expected to be implemented within the following year, after which a process of evaluation must be conducted to assess the effectiveness of implementation. Should the changes prove successful, the program is to be continued. Bi-annual evaluations should be conducted in order to reassess the effectiveness of applied changes, in order to ensure constant improvement of quality of healthcare. The nurses quality output is to be measured using the following criteria:
Main stakeholders in assessing the effectiveness of changes are health managers, heads of departments, and nursing personnel.
Research and Data Collection Methods
The main tool for data collection and analysis for this paper is going to be literature review. There is plenty of peer-reviewed information dedicated to the subject, which will need to be analyzed and compiled according to the needs and purposes of this research. For the sake of academic quality, sources of information for this research would be articles from medical peer-reviewed journals, and dedicated books and nursing manuals. Several factors may have an influence on quality of healthcare services, such as underperformance of nurses, influence of the environment, stress, and other physical and psychological factors (Awases, Bezuidenhout, & Roos, 2013).
Effectiveness of quality improvement teams must be assessed as well. Research proves that they have a positive effect due to the staff involvement (Rantz et al., 2013). Thus, the final step is to identify the goals and timeframes for measuring outcomes of the program.
The progress of the quality improvement program is to be measured in two ways – through use of information technologies, and nurse self-assessments. From the point of view of Total Quality Management framework, it is paramount to constantly measure and assess the progress of the ongoing changes (Lawrence, 1993, p. 10). Employee feedback could be obtained in form of questionnaires, and then processed with the use of IT in order to detect any changes from status quo. IT is an essential part of any modern healthcare service, which is useful in ensuring quality healthcare. When analyzing the progress of quality improvement process, nurse feedback is also important. Important factors are levels of motivation and satisfaction with their work. Improvement in both would have an influence on other factors, such as the number of patients readmitted for hospital care.
Factors and measures assessed and analyzed in this research should have a positive impact on the quality improvement in hospitals. For the reform to be successful, goals have to be specific, achievable, relevant and measurable to the problem. That will prevent unnecessary loss of time and resources (Pryjmachuk, 2011, p. 130). As a result, the levels of motivation among nurses would increase, and the managers would be able to observe, assess, and influence the quality of healthcare services more efficiently, which will result in overall increase of performance.
Awases, M. H., Bezuidenhout, M. C., & Roos, J. H. (2013). Factors affecting the performance of professional nurses in Namibia. Curationis, 36(1), 1-8.
Huber, D. L. (2006). Leadership and nursing care management (3rd ed.). Atlanta, GA: Elsevier.
Lawrence. M. L. (1993). Total quality management in human service organizations. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE Publications Inc.
Pryjmachuk, S. (2011). Mental health nursing: An evidence based introduction. London, UK: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Rantz, M., Zwygart-Stauffacher, M., Flesner, M., Hicks, L., Mehr, D., Russel, t., & Minner, D. (2013). The influence of teams to sustain quality improvement in nursing homes that “need improvement.” Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 14(1), 48-52.