Executive Summary Paper
Explain key quality and safety outcome measures.
Why are these outcomes important?
Quality and safety outcome measures are critical in informing decision-making regarding the best care for patients. These outcome measures are also important in predicting patients that may benefit following certain interventions. Quality and safety outcome measures are also key in the assessment and identification of any improvements achieved following the implementation of an intervention (Morley et al., 2019).
Why are these outcomes being measured?
Outcome measures are good measures of health care quality and are vital in determining whether strategies put in place to provide quality and safe health care are bearing fruits. Outcome measures are also important as they provide an avenue to further develop insights into the population’s health with the ultimate aim of improving health for the benefit of all parties involved (Greenhalgh et al., 2018).
What does the data indicate?
As Taylor et al. (2020) note, qualitative and quantitative data are key in evaluating outcome measures. Different data types provide different information regarding the various aspects of a health care facility. Data such as the results of blood tests are essential in assessing patients.
On the other hand, waiting times and outcomes are important in analyzing service delivery within the facility. Employees’ experience and financial performance are data that provide a clear picture at the organizational level.
Determine the strategic value to an organization of specific outcome measures.
To what extent do these measures impact patient care?
Outcome measures impact patient care as they are critical in assessing the patient’s current health status. According to Rikkert et al. (2018), these measures serve the role of providing a score and are consequently important in both the interpretation of obtained results as well as the categorization of patients based on the risk posed by their current status.
Before initiating any treatment or intervention, outcome measures provide a baseline that determines the course of action to be taken. If the intervention has begun, outcome measures are key in analyzing patient response and whether any changes have been achieved, thus dictating what to do next in the care delivery process.
What are the implications of these effects for a culture of quality and safety?
An organizational culture of quality and safety strives to achieve a decline in mortality rates, falls and other accidents, hospital-acquired infections, and hospital stay while consequently increasing patient satisfaction. Outcome measures make it possible to understand areas that require improvement to improve both the quality and safety of care (Vaughn et al., 2019).
Assessing these outcome measures also makes it possible to understand interventions that are working so as to further recommend and implement them. Interventions that fail to achieve desired results are altered at this stage.
Why is it important to continue to measure these outcomes?
Continuous measurement of outcome measures is important within any organization. Measurement enables the identification of weak areas, fosters improvement, and enables the facility to adopt best practices to improve both the quality and safety of care (Ballard et al., 2018). Measuring outcomes makes organizations responsive to the ever-changing needs of their patients. All this plays a vital role in the further improvement of outcomes.
What are the potential consequences of not measuring these outcomes?
Failure to assess outcome measures means that the organization fails to make well-informed and well-based decisions as they lack data to back their decision-making process (Prinsen et al., 2018). Such decisions translate to failure in the long run as interventions implemented are based on more of a gamble rather than backed by evidence. The eventual losers are the patients, as there is no improvement in the quality or safety of health care.
Analyze the relationships between a systemic problem in your organization or practice setting and specific quality and safety outcomes.
What are the specific outcome measures related to the systemic problem you identified in Assessment 1?
In assessment 1, I highlighted hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) as the systemic problem within my practice setting. HAIs are a common occurrence within most health care settings and have been attributed to several complications.
Outcome measures related to hospital-acquired infections include the safety of care which assess the rate of catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line-associated infections, and surgical site infections, among others. Another critical outcome measure is the mortality rate in relation to these infections. The effectiveness of care is another important outcome measure.
How, and to what extent, are these outcomes related to the problem?
The safety of care directly correlates with the rate of hospital-acquired infections. The occurrence of HAIs, including catheter-related urinary tract infections, provides a clear indicator of adherence to safe care practices such as hand hygiene which are important in infection control and prevention.
The mortality rate provides a clear picture of the number of patients succumbing to HAIs, which is an indicator of the complications arising from these infections. The effectiveness of care analyzes the number of health care workers on call at a particular time and the quality of care they provide, which directly correlates with the occurrence of hospital-acquired infections.
Determine how specific outcome measures support strategic initiatives related to a quality and safety culture.
Review your organization’s or practice setting’s strategic plan.
The goal of my practice setting is to reduce or completely eliminate the occurrence of hospital-acquired infections. This objective is to be achieved by implementing evidence-based practices that have been shown to play a vital role in infection prevention and control.
Hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (PPEs), and education of health care workers on infection prevention and control are some of the strategies put in place to address the issue of hospital-acquired infections.
To what extent do the outcome measures relate to the organization’s strategic plan to improve safety and quality?
The outcome measures align with the organization’s strategic plan of improving both the quality and safety of care. The outcome measures provide a model on which to base vital decisions regarding the organization. These decisions are then used to steer the implementation of changes to achieve quality and safe health care that guarantees patient satisfaction and improved job satisfaction for employees within the organization.
To what extent do these outcome measures promote a culture of quality and safety?
The organization is continually striving toward achieving improved quality and safety of care. Providing the highest quality of care is engrained in the organization’s culture, and it is something we strive to achieve each and every day.
Outcome measures enable us to adopt the most effective evidence-based strategies to ensure that patients receive the highest quality care. Interventions towards achieving a culture of quality and safety are modeled based on outcome measures that dictate our organization’s day-to-day running.
Determine how the leadership team could support implementing and adopting proposed practice changes affecting specific outcomes.
What specific steps would you expect nurse leaders to take?
Nurse leaders can play a significant role in facilitating effective communication and teamwork to formulate and implement strategies to improve the quality and safety of care. Fostering a culture of safety through the promotion of nurse-patient engagement and addressing other issues that may result in burnout amongst health care workers are also some of the roles nurse leaders can play in improving both the quality and safety of care. Advocating for recommended and appropriate staffing levels within the facility is also a crucial role of the nurse leader.
Why would this approach be effective?
These steps are effective in fostering a culture of quality and safe care. Collaboration in coming up with strategies ensures that everyone’s contribution is received and channeled towards achieving a common objective. The nurse leader’s role in lobbying for appropriate staffing levels as well as addressing the issue of burnout among health care workers is important in guaranteeing job satisfaction and promoting morale among employees, which is important in fostering quality and safe health care (Cable et al., 2018).
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Greenhalgh, J., Gooding, K., Gibbons, E., Dalkin, S., Wright, J., Valderas, J., & Black, N. (2018). How do patient reported outcome measures (PROMS) support clinician-patient communication and patient care? A realist synthesis. Journal of Patient-Reported Outcomes, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41687-018-0061-6
Morley, R., & Leech, T. (2019). Optimal assessment tools in assessing breast surgery: patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) vs. objective measures. Gland Surgery, 8(4), 416–424. https://doi.org/10.21037/gs.2019.02.04
Olde Rikkert, M. G., van der Wees, P. J., Schoon, Y., & Westert, G. P. (2018). Using patient reported outcomes measures to promote integrated care. International Journal of Integrated Care, 18(2). https://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.3961
Prinsen, C., Mokkink, L. B., Bouter, L. M., Alonso, J., Patrick, D. L., de Vet, H., & Terwee, C. B. (2018). COSMIN guideline for systematic reviews of patient-reported outcome measures. Quality Of Life Research: An International Journal Of Quality Of Life Aspects Of Treatment, Care And Rehabilitation, 27(5), 1147–1157. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-018-1798-3
Taylor, K. I., Staunton, H., Lipsmeier, F., Nobbs, D., & Lindemann, M. (2020). Outcome measures based on digital health technology sensor data: data- and patient-centric approaches. NPJ Digital Medicine, 3, 97. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41746-020-0305-8
Vaughn, V. M., Saint, S., Krein, S. L., Forman, J. H., Meddings, J., Ameling, J., Winter, S., Townsend, W., & Chopra, V. (2019). Characteristics of healthcare organisations struggling to improve quality: results from a systematic review of qualitative studies. BMJ Quality & Safety, 28(1), 74–84. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjqs-2017-007573