Healthcare systems are held accountable to insurers, patients, and governing bodies to ensure quality of care for patients. Defining and measuring the quality of care is essential for healthcare providers. Quality does not exist without a way to measure, and the desired health outcomes are achieved. For patient care to be considered high quality, the care must be consistent with current evidence-based practices (Marquis & Huston, 2012). Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to synthesize the analysis and recommendations into an action plan for implementing the quality improvement initiative that looks at nursing staffing. A timeline for planning, implementing, and evaluating this project will be set, as well as looking at reasonable milestones for the initiative.
The quality improvement initiative focusing on nurse staffing is important as studies have shown a positive correlation between less than adequate staffing and poor patient outcomes. As well, shift length is also a contributing factor (Stimpfel & Aiken, 2013; Sadeghi, Barzi, Mikhail, & Shabot, 2013). The reason for this initiative is to evaluate the nurse scheduling process as there is an increase in open shifts which is creating mandatory overtime and premium pay shifts.
Assembling the right team is necessary to be successful in the implementation of this initiative. The team will be multi-disciplinary consisting of a project sponsor who will be the Chief Nursing Office of the organization. Other members will include, the Vice President of Nursing, Nursing Managers, Lead RNs of specific nursing units, the Manager of the Staffing Office, and a Lean Management Coordinator. Having a decentralize...
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The first week of this initiative, the team will have the value stream map and data collection metrics completed. On a daily basis, an accurate average daily census will be determined and every six weeks this information will be updated in the nurse scheduling program. After the eighteen weeks or three schedules, there will be less than 10% open shifts in a six-week schedule with an observed trend of a decrease in overtime, premium pay, safety events, and incident reports.
Quality improvement initiatives are critical for all healthcare systems to improve patient outcomes. Quality has become increasingly important for the sustainability of an organization and a measure to compete with other healthcare facilities. The mission and values of organizations surround quality; therefore, the pursuit of excellence is a never ending process.
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