Describe the national healthcare issue/stressor you selected and its impact on your organization. Use organizational data to quantify the impact
Changes in the industry only serve to stress what has always been true; namely, that the healthcare field has always faced significant challenges, and that goals to improve healthcare will always involve multiple stakeholders. This should not seem surprising given the circumstances. Indeed, when a growing population needs care, there are factors involved such as the demands of providing that care and the rising costs associated with healthcare. Generally, it is not surprising that the field of healthcare is an industry facing multifaceted issues that evolve over time.
you reviewed some healthcare issues/stressors and selected one for further review. For this Assignment, you will consider in more detail the healthcare issue/stressor you selected. You will also review research that addresses the issue/stressor and write a white paper to your organization’s leadership that addresses the issue/stressor you selected.
- Review the national healthcare issues/stressors presented in the Resources and reflect on the national healthcare issue/stressor you selected for the study.
- Reflect on the feedback you received from your colleagues on your Discussion post for the national healthcare issue/stressor you selected.
- Identify and review two additional scholarly resources (not included in the Resources for this module) that focus on change strategies implemented by healthcare organizations to address your selected national healthcare issue/stressor.
The Assignment (3-4 Pages):
Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue
Develop a 3- to 4-page paper, written to your organization’s leadership team, addressing your selected national healthcare issue/stressor and how it is impacting your work setting. Be sure to address the following:
- Describe the national healthcare issue/stressor you selected and its impact on your organization. Use organizational data to quantify the impact (if necessary, seek assistance from leadership or appropriate stakeholders in your organization).
- Provide a brief summary of the two articles you reviewed from outside resources on the national healthcare issue/stressor. Explain how the healthcare issue/stressor is being addressed in other organizations.
- Summarize the strategies used to address the organizational impact of national healthcare issues/stressors presented in the scholarly resources you selected. Explain how they may impact your organization both positively and negatively. Be specific and provide examples.
- APA citation 3 to 4 references within 5 years
Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue
With the increasing number of people who are covered by the government-sponsored health insurance programs, a challenge has emerged on how to cater to the healthcare needs of the nation. The number of monetary investments has been on the increase but the manpower has failed to catch up to the increasing number of patients needing healthcare services. This especially has been the case with the increasing aged population who qualify for the Medicare and Medicaid programs (Blouin & Podjasek, 2019). This is an issue that has trickled down to the healthcare facilities including the organization I work for.
Nurse staffing is considered an issue that has major significance in patient outcomes, including the quality of care delivered to patients. several studies have indicated the effects of nurse staffing on patient outcomes, with a majority citing that lower nurse staffing levels result in missed care, an increase in nursing errors and as a result, poor patient outcomes (Brooks et al., 2019). Likewise, low levels of nurse staffing also result in low work satisfaction and high burnout experienced by nurses.
In the organization I work for, the increasing number of patients has been gradually causing a strain in the nurses, with an increased frequency of floating in more than one unit. However, managing the increasing number of patients using short-term methods like floating will not be sustainable in the long-run hence a need to come up with a more concrete solution. In the facility I work for, data collected in the past year had shown that there was an increase in number of missed nursing care. While some of the cases may not have led to disastrous outcomes, it still posed a risk to the overall wellbeing of patients. The following section highlights the magnitude of the issue by using two selected articles, and how other healthcare organizations have dealt with the deficit of nurses in the ever-expanding patient numbers.
Summary of studies on the healthcare issue
The first article selected was an article conducted by Griffiths et al. (2018) whereby, the study identified that there was an apparent link between nurse staffing and adverse patient outcomes including mortality in in-patient facilities. The researcher went further to indicate that using missed care can be a more precise method of measuring the adequacy of nurse staffing or to put it in another way, it can provide a good method to measure the causal relationship on the effect of inadequate nurse staffing. The authors of the study concluded that low staffing levels led to high cases of missed care, which as a result led to poor patient outcomes, Therefore, missed care was considered a good indicator of assessing nurse staffing ratios in a healthcare facility as per the findings of this study.
The second study was a study done by Cho et al. (2016). The article focused on establishing the relationship between nurse staffing, work environment, and patient outcomes. The identified independent variables were mainly linked to those factors that had implications on the work satisfaction of the nursing staff. The study noted that inadequate nurse staffing and poor working environment led to increased cases of wrong medication administration, missed care and compromised patient safety.
Some of the ways in which nurse staffing issues are being handled by other organizations include ensuring that there is as minimal employee turnover as possible withing the healthcare facility as possible. It is apparent that nurses are on demand due to the increasing numbers of patients needing their services. Therefore, most of them are ready to work for organizations that will offer better working conditions. That is where the issue of organizational leadership kicks in.
With good leadership, the working conditions for the healthcare personnel will be ideal leading to high job satisfaction and a lower nurse turnover (Boamah et al., 2018). This means that the staffing level will not diminish. Another way of dealing with nurse staffing issues is coming up with a formal staffing plan after consultation with the nursing staff. Having a rigid staffing framework is not ideal in an environment that is ever-changing, that a more flexible staffing plan will assist the facility in dealing with the uneven nurse to patient ratios.
Strategies used to address the healthcare issue
From the studies selected there were various recommendations that were indicated to deal with the issue of low nurse staffing ratios. One of the ways prescribed is by coming up with effective strategies to increase nurse staffing and improving the working conditions which will also deal with the issue of nurse turnover (Cho et al., 2016). Implementing this strategy will have a positive impact on the organization, in that, nurses will work more efficiently with lower levels of burnout, as a result, leading to positive patient outcomes. The negative impact is that the organization will likely be needed to increase its expenditure on labor, whereby, it may not have adequate resources to do so.
Another strategy that was used is the use of missed care as an indicator to dictate policy changes in nurse staffing ratios. This was considered a more realistic unit of measurement in assessing the adequacy of nurse staffing ratios (Griffiths et al., 2018). This approach is positive in the sense that the organization will be adjusting its staffing on a case by case basis, rather than having a rigid method of assessing nurse staffing needs. The negative part of this strategy is that it is more reactive than a proactive approach.
Nurse staffing is a serious healthcare issue that needs to be tackled from a national to an organizational level for the sake of ensuring better patient outcomes.
Boamah, S. A., Laschinger, H. K. S., Wong, C., & Clarke, S. (2018). Effect of transformational leadership on job satisfaction and patient safety outcomes. Nursing Outlook, 66(2), 180-189.
Brooks, C, J. M., Hatfield, L., Plover, C., Dierkes, A., Davis, L., Hedgeland, T., Sanders, A. M., Visco, F., Holland, S., Ballinghoff, J., Del Guidice, M., & Aiken, L. H. (2019). Association of Nurse Engagement and Nurse Staffing on Patient Safety. Journal of nursing care quality, 34(1), 40–46. https://doi.org/10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000334
Blouin, A. S., & Podjasek, K. (2019). The continuing saga of nurse staffing: historical and emerging challenges. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 49(4), 221-227. DOI: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000741
Cho, E., Chin, D. L., Kim, S., & Hong, O. (2016). The relationships of nurse staffing level and work environment with patient adverse events. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 48(1), 74-82. https://doi.org/10.1111/jnu.12183
Griffiths, P., Recio‐Saucedo, A., Dall’Ora, C., Briggs, J., Maruotti, A., Meredith, P., … & Missed Care Study Group. (2018). The association between nurse staffing and omissions in nursing care: a systematic review. Journal of advanced nursing, 74(7), 1474-1487. https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.13564
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