Quality of care and patient safety should be among the primary concerns of every healthcare provider. To achieve a high quality of care, hospitals work with Risk Management and Safety Officers whose primary duty is to develop, implement, and support various quality assurance initiatives. I have recently met with the healthcare professionals working at Jackson Memorial Hospital located in Miami, Florida. These specialists allowed me to attend one of their meetings where they discussed the current state of quality regulation programs, plans for new analytic projects, and the ongoing monitoring of patient safety levels.
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Work Site Description
Jackson Memorial Hospital is one of the teaching non-profit healthcare organizations located in Miami, Florida. It has many academic affiliations and provides medical services in many areas of care. The meeting with the appointed officers reviewed the hospital’s safety and quality concerns and showed that the organization values patient-centered care and does everything in its power to introduce new initiatives into the process of care provision. The gathering was attended not only by the Risk Manager and the Safety Officer but also by some members of the administrative staff, nursing managers, and financial officers. According to the introductory speech, this event was regular for the majority of these employees, as it mostly recalled previous meetings and included some new information about the hospital’s ongoing projects.
Continuous Quality Improvement
The discussion of Continuous Quality Improvements (CQIs) took up a significant part of the meeting. During this time, all attending workers were encouraged to comment on the present state of all units, procedures, and technology in the hospital. The conversation revolved around three major questions. The first one asked whether the chosen strategy for CQIs was working appropriately for the hospital. Currently, the hospital employs the IHI Model for Improvement which is highly flexible. This model closely follows a methodical process of analyzing the issues, devising a plan, implementing the chosen solution, evaluating the results, and institutionalizing the change (Health Information Technology Research Center, 2013). However, as was noted during the meeting, it may be unsuitable for achieving bigger goals.
Other strategies such as Six Sigma and Lean were discussed as well. The focus on Six Sigma was especially notable as most attendants agreed that choosing this course may be the best option for some departments. It had been already utilized in most units, and the results were satisfactory. The quantifiable approach of this strategy appealed to the Risk Manager who also discussed some error analyses and current statistics. Overall, it was clear that the CQI initiatives were evaluated in-depth by all attending professionals.
Analysis of Errors
The interview with the Risk Manager revealed necessary procedures performed by the hospital to ensure a high quality of care. For example, Root Cause Analysis (RCA) was used in many situations that required close attention. Medical errors related to injections and medication administration were outlined as an issue that needed to be understood to develop a solution. After performing RCA, the hospital found that misspellings could be a possible concern, which further revealed that many nurses did not have enough time to attentively read all information and interpret it before administering the drug. The manager proposed to restructure their schedule and introduce a double-check procedure as a way to avoid errors (Basukala, Mehrotra, & Devarakonda, 2015). Therefore, the root of the problem was analyzed and discussed, which helped the organization lower the rate of medication errors.
The meeting and the discussion with the hospital’s Risk Manager showed that Jackson Memorial Hospital is invested in CQI and focused on patients’ safety and wellbeing. The organization discusses its new initiatives will all levels of professionals and encourages open and honest conversations about the future of the organization. The overview of the error analyses revealed that the hospital successfully addresses not only apparent issues but also their underlying reasons.
Basukala, S., Mehrotra, S., & Devarakonda, S. (2015). Medication errors in outpatient setting of a tertiary care hospital: Classification and root cause analysis. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 4(6), 1235-1240.
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Health Information Technology Research Center. (2013). Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) strategies to optimize your practice. Web.