The YouTube video “Healthcare Quality Assurance Success Story” explains how modern innovations are making it easier for hospitals to improve their customer-service functions. Technologies are improving the process of screening, real-time decision-making, and the delivery of timely services (Military Credentialing, 2012). Strategic decision-making processes can make it easier for service providers to achieve positive results. The case study of the Army National Guard shows how the idea of healthcare quality assurance (QA) can benefit many hospitals (Military Credentialing, 2012). This discussion, therefore, examines the QA approaches used by the Houston Methodist Hospital.
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Description of the Targeted Facility and Organizational Structure
Houston Methodist is “a leading provider of different health services in the Greater Houston area” (Houston Methodist, 2016, para. 3). The institution is composed of six hospitals and one academic medical facility. The success of this institution is attributable to its core values. These values include accountability, integrity, excellence, and respect (Houston Methodist, 2016). These values are followed to ensure enviable care is available to more patients in the targeted region.
The major priorities targeted by the hospital include service, quality, and safety (Houston Methodist, 2016). The organization’s research institute undertakes numerous studies and clinical trials. Such studies are undertaken to support various medical objectives. Some of the completed researches have made it easier for Houston Methodist to deal with diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and infectious conditions (Houston Methodist, 2016).
This healthcare facility has a simple organizational structure that supports the targeted goals. Decisions and managerial functions are executed by the Board of Directors (BoD). The key members of the BoD include the chair, vice-chair, secretary, chief executive officer (CEO), and the treasurer (Houston Methodist, 2016). The CEO (also the President) undertakes a wide range of activities to support the hospital’s goals. The current CEO is called Marc Loom (Houston Methodist, 2016). The chairman of the BoD is Ewing Werlein (Houston Methodist, 2016). The six hospitals are managed by senior leaders who empower their respective employees. The ultimate goal is to ensure the targeted clients receive exemplary health services.
Quality Assurance Program
Houston Methodist embraces various research initiatives that have the potential to improve the quality of services available to many community members (Houston Methodist, 2016). The institution has a Quality Assurance (QA) analyst who collaborates with different researchers and healthcare providers to improve service delivery. The QA Analyst collaborates with research teams and other caregivers to ensure the institution realizes its potentials.
The institution’s QA program has been carefully designed in such a way that that it promotes excellence. The department focuses on the major challenges and obstacles affecting the nature of healthcare delivery. The ultimate goal of the QA program is to ensure more people receive quality medical support. The department monitors every healthcare delivery function to ensure it complies with different federal and state policies (The patient experience, 2016). The department monitors various research activities and clinical trials. The Clinical Trial Managers (CTMs) and Principal Investigators (PIs) liaise with the QA Analyst to ensure the targeted findings can address various health problems. This discussion shows clearly that the hospital’s QA program is supported by different players.
The QA analyst performs special duties to make the institution successful. One of these duties is the use of modern informatics to monitor various activities in different branches. The QA program embraces the most desirable strategies to make appropriate decisions. The program is used to resolve most of the discrepancies and issues affecting the organization (The patient experience, 2016). The QA Analyst empowers different workers to ensure there is continuous improvement of the health services available to more Houstonians.
The healthcare facility has been embracing the use of new technologies to address problems, improve organizational functions, and implement new changes. The QA department maintains credentials thus making it easier for the hospital to support the needs of different patients. The QA department supports relationship management throughout the institution (The patient experience, 2016). This strategy plays a critical role in identifying evidence-based practices, analyzing patients’ needs, and outlining new functions that can result in healthcare readiness.
As mentioned earlier, Houston Methodist’s QA program is characterized by specific requirements that make it successful. The program is always aligned with the studies and research works completed by different employees. The researchers should report their trials and approaches to the QA department (Houston Methodist, 2016). This strategy makes it easier for the QA analyst to monitor the effectiveness of different research studies. The analyst plays a critical role in ensuring the studies support the organization’s core principles and values.
The other unique requirement is that QA is treated as a unique aspect of the organization’s business model. The QA analyst trains nurse practitioners (NPs), caregivers, and subordinates to minimize errors. The QA Analyst encourages different stakeholders to present their feedbacks and identify the major weaknesses affecting service delivery (Houston Methodist, 2016). The gathered information is used to improve various functions and promote the most desirable practices.
The healthcare facility has been providing technical resources to streamline every quality assurance process. The members of staff in the healthcare facility are trained to use various computer packages and software applications. These tools have been observed to support the decisions made in the facility. Information is relayed from one department within the shortest time possible. This requirement explains why the process of decision-making has been streamlined. The occurrence of “never events” is communicated instantly to the relevant officials in the organization (The patient experience, 2016). The next move is to ensure the right measures and procedures are implemented in an attempt to support the diverse needs of different clients.
Quality Assurance is an ongoing process at Houston Methodist. The six hospitals and research institutions forming the organization are always encouraged to promote the best practices. This approach is embraced in an attempt to deliver quality services. Stakeholders and patients are allowed to participate in the hospital’s QA program (Houston Methodist, 2016). This strategy explains why Houston Methodist is one of the most revered healthcare institutions in Houston and across the nation.
“Never Event” at the Facility
The facility’s website does not include any case of a “never event”. The hospital has been embracing the most desirable approaches in an attempt to support the needs of its patients. The institution implements the best safety and quality measures whenever providing care to its clients. The QA department embraces desirable procedures to minimize the chances of recording a sentinel event. This approach explains why the organization has managed to prevent sentinel events such as medication errors (Salyer, 2014).
This institution undertakes numerous studies to understand the challenges facing many hospitals in the country. Such researches present new initiatives that can minimize never events. Houston Methodist learns a lot from the mistakes committed by employees in other health institutions. For example, a medical mistake was recorded in Indianapolis in 2007. The sentinel event occurred when “three premature babies died after they overdosed with drugs” (Childs, 2007, para. 6). Two of these babies were Demaya Nelson and Dawn Jeffries (Childs, 2007). The “deaths occurred after nurses administered Heparin instead of Hep-lock” (Childs, 2007, para. 7). This event shocked many players in the country’s health industry.
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Lessons from “Never Events”
Houston Methodist has been studying similar events to implement appropriate preventative strategies. That being the case, the institution provides quality training and evidence to its doctors. Evidence-based ideas are used to empower more practitioners to make them competent providers of care. The QA department focuses on existing protocols and suggests new improvements that can improve its performance (Salyer, 2014). The hospital promotes research and implements the findings in different healthcare settings. This initiative is usually embraced to provide efficient care to more patients.
The hospital uses “a system-wide approach to quality improvement and patient safety activities” (Salyer, 2014, p. 14). The organization uses modern technologies and information systems to assess the health outcomes of many patients (Salyer, 2014). The next move is to improve various functions and activities in an attempt to prevent never events. Hospitals should copy the practices embraced by this organization to offer exemplary services. The role of QA should be embraced by healthcare facilities that want to transform the experiences of their patients.
Childs, D. (2007). Medical errors, past and present. ABC News. Web.
Houston Methodist. (2016). Web.
Military Credentialing. (2012). Healthcare quality assurance success story [Video file]. Web.
Salyer, P. (2014). Integration of health information technology to improve patient safety. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 4(6), 12-22.
The patient experience. (2016). Web.