Quality health care is defined as “the degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge”. The Institute of Medicine’s 2001 article, To Err Is Human released the statement that medical errors were responsible for between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths annually in the United States (McEwen and Willis, 2014). An immediate demand for accountability and quality in the health care system requested and many quality improvement/management initiatives were undertaken that directly impacted the discipline of nursing. A recent announcement was made that The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimated 1.3 million fewer patients (a 17% reduction) were harmed in U.S. hospitals from 2010 to 2013.
The estimate of 34,530 deaths prevented in 2013 was nearly 10 times greater than the reduction estimated in 2011. The cumulative cost savings during the period analyzed was nearly $12 billion. Healthcare quality and safety experts call the reductions impressive, but they also emphasize that there is still a long way to go to improve the safety of the nation’s hospitals (Rice, 2014). The majority of these medical errors result from faulty systems and processes, not individuals. Because errors are caused by system or process failures it is important to adopt various process-improvement techniques to identify inefficiencies, ineffective care, and preventable errors to then influence changes associated with systems. Each of these techniques involves assessing performance and using findings to inform change (McNally, Page, and Sunderland, 1997).
Our textbook and this class provide us with the insight on specific theories, models, and framework applicable to nursing administration and management. Quality management (QM) is responsible greatly for the work done on the reduction of medical errors. We will discuss components to leadership in a QM environment and essential roles and responsibilities of these leaders. We will also learn that quality improvement and evidence-based practice are cornerstones of a successful and high performing health care organization. McEwen, M., & Wills, E. M. (2014). Theoretical basis for nursing (4th ed.).
Philadelphia: Lippincott. ISBN: 978-1-4511-9031-1 McNally M., Page M., and Sunderland V. (1997). Failure mode and effects analysis in improving a drug distribution system. American Journal of Health System Pharmacy. (54) 17-7. Rice, S., (2014). 1.3 million adverse events prevented in U.S. hospitals since 2010, feds say. Retrieved December 4, 2014 from: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20141202/NEWS/312029936.
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