Quality Improvement Plan
The current quality improvement plan aims to reduce the rate of falls among patients within the Med-Surg/COVID/Cardiovascular unit. The plan involves three crucial steps to be carried out in the effort to help both patients and healthcare providers in the designated department alleviate the burden of falls, which significantly reduces the quality of care and increases the likelihood of complications and co-morbidities. The initial step in the plan is to increase nurse staffing levels at the Med-Surg/COVID/Cardiovascular unit to ensure that there is an adequate number of providers available to care for patients. As suggested by Kim et al. (2019), the lack of staffing on hospital floors is among the factors influencing the occurrence of falls. Even though mandating to hire more personnel to the hospital can be challenging, the step is essential for establishing a solid framework for quality improvement.
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The second step is concerned with the timely monitoring and assessment of high-risk patients and the introduction of bed alarms to prevent unassisted falls that cause serious injuries. As patients are being admitted to the Med-Surg/COVID/Cardiovascular unit, they will be assessed for their risks of falling at the facility. For high and moderate-risk patients, the bed alarms will be introduced to allow them to call for the assistance of nurses or other hospital personnel when they need to get up and walk somewhere. The bed alarms are important because they will reduce the necessity for personnel to visit each hospital bed and ask patients whether they need help (Mileski et al., 2019). Therefore, there will be more time for healthcare providers to address important tasks and offer immediate assistance as soon as their patients need them. In addition to bed alarms, the facility can also test chain sensors, caution signs, and protective equipment effectiveness.
The final step in the quality improvement plan is concerned with personnel training in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Safety Quality Committee to improve nursing self-efficacy and boost the management and prevention of falls. While the training can be costly, it is necessary to educate personnel on how to use the supportive equipment for fall prevention as well as assessing the likelihood of patients’ fallings during their stays at hospitals. In combination with increasing staffing levels, training and education have the potential for creating an overall favorable environment to address the risks of falls.
To implement the quality improvement plan, financial, human resources, and educational resources are needed. First, it may be necessary for the Med-Surg/COVID/Cardiovascular unit to seek financial support from investors, both in private and public sectors. The management of the facility can compose a proposal for the quality improvement with a designated budget for it to send to the National Institutes of Health or the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Both organizations are known for providing funding to facilities and researchers. Second, human resources are needed as a means to increase staffing levels at the unit. Drawing from financial resources, it is possible to incentivize the applications to the facility and attract skilled nursing professionals. Financial resources will also be needed to facilitate the purchasing and dissemination of fall prevention and management technologies and resources.
Third, educational resources are crucial to plan implementation because they are necessary for engaging personnel into ongoing training and professional improvement essential for quality improvement. Today, most training can occur through digital means such as online conferences and coaching, which is possible to carry out whenever personnel has time to engage in training. Financial and human resources are necessary to facilitate personnel training to fund the time of trainers and coaches as well as cover any expenses that go toward nurses’ overtime and software or hardware needs. Even though the quality improvement plan may be costly, financial support from governmental and non-governmental organizations is needed to facilitate its smooth implementation and the reaching of objectives. It is important to note that the abundance of resources need to carry out the quality improvement plan will require some time to be acquired, which can slow down the progress. However, without the resources, it is unlikely that the plan can succeed to the expected level.
To summarize, the proposed quality improvement plan is tasked with the challenge of preventing and reducing the occurrence of falls within the Med-Surg/COVID/Cardiovascular unit. The plan is three-fold and entails the improvement of care quality through increasing staff numbers, educating and training personnel additionally, as well as introducing preventive and assistive measures to aid at-risk patients. In order to implement the initiative, it is necessary to establish a solid framework of information exchange and collaboration among healthcare providers while also seeking financial, human, and educational resources. It is expected that the plan will not be easy to implement because it entails several steps that require different resources for success. However, the quality initiative is crucial to implement because it will allow to address the challenge head-on and with the help of a comprehensive and multi-dimensional approach.
Kim, J., Kim., S., Park, J., & Lee, E. (2019). Multilevel factors influencing falls of patients in hospital: The impact of nurse staffing. Journal of Nursing Management, 27(5), 1011-1019. Web.
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Mileski, M., Brooks, M., Topinka, J. B., Hamilton, G., Land, C., Mitchell, T., Mosley, B., & McClay, R. (2019). Alarming and/or alerting device effectiveness in reducing falls in long-term care (LTC) facilities? A Systematic Review. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 7(1), 51. Web.