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The Impact of Standards
The term “never event” implies that some situations should never occur in medical practice. It is established that these incidents can be prevented, thus making their occurrence a serious negative consequence for a healthcare organization’s quality of care level. However, before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Joint Commission created specific lists of “never events,” these situations were not defined for all hospitals (Thornlow & Merwin, 2009).
With the establishment of new standards, the organizations are not able to influence health care providers and motivate them to reduce the incidence of “never events” by focusing on patient safety. Thornlow and Merwin (2009) find that certain events may be reduced with the implementation of such specific standards. However, Shah et al. (2016) present different results, arguing that the rates of falls and UTIs have risen in the examined hospital after 2008. It could be argued that the organizations provided a structure for the quality of care activities and presented hospitals with goals but did not provide enough resources to achieve them. Thus, such clinics as the one described by Shah et al. (2016) suffered from increased adverse events.
The Role and Challenges of Nurses
Nurses play a vital part in improving the clinical outcomes and performance of healthcare organizations. First of all, they have a direct impact on patients’ health because they administer medications, complete procedures, and develop patients’ therapy plans. They act as frontline specialists in communicating the needs of patients and evaluating the quality of care in the hospital (Kieft, de Brouwer, Francke, & Delnoij, 2014). For example, they act as professionals who assess their peers to see which areas of care need improvement. Furthermore, some nurses are leaders that teach other members of the team the standards that the organization should follow.
They can participate in disseminating information, training, and introducing new changes. Nurses’ outlook and connection with patients allows them to analyze the weaknesses and opportunities of the organization. Using this knowledge, they can influence change, although they may encounter some challenges in the process. For example, inadequate staffing may limit nurses’ ability to influence the situation (Kieft et al., 2014). The lack of collaboration among staff members can also decrease success. Organizations that do not possess the necessary resources may not afford to innovate.
The strategic agenda of healthcare organizations should adhere to the established standards and ensure that it pursues goals focused on patient safety and positive health outcomes. The criteria may help the organization to develop its objectives because the proposed “never events” are specific and preventable. Moreover, the guidelines of CMS and the Joint Commission encourage healthcare providers to think about practice improvement not only to deliver care but also to have necessary financial resources to sustain the establishment (Thornlow & Merwin, 2009). However, the lack of funding or increased punitive measures may disrupt the hospitals’ ability to innovate to adhere to the new objectives (Shah et al., 2016).
The nurses’ role is substantial in helping the organization fulfill its purpose. Nurses should create goals that are similar to those of their workplace in order to contribute to the goals’ completion. If the hospital fails to establish a connection with nurses, the medical professionals’ attitude toward the facility’s activities will not lead to positive results (Kieft et al., 2014). Instead, the organization and its workers may enter a state of conflict, further staggering any plans for innovation.
Kieft, R. A., de Brouwer, B. B., Francke, A. L., & Delnoij, D. M. (2014). How nurses and their work environment affect patient experiences of the quality of care: A qualitative study. BMC Health Services Research, 14(249), 1-10.
Shah, N. K., Farber, A., Kalish, J. A., Eslami, M. H., Sengupta, A., Doros, G.,… Siracuse, J. J. (2016). Occurrence of “never events” after major open vascular surgery procedures. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 63(3), 738-745.
Thornlow, D. K., & Merwin, E. (2009). Managing to improve quality: The relationship between accreditation standards, safety practices, and patient outcomes. Health Care Management Review, 34(3), 262-272.