Overview of Quality in Health Care Paper

Overview of Quality in Health Care Paper

Overview of Quality in Health Care Paper

There has been an increased need for improved patient care, security of patients while in the care environment, and better health outcomes at reasonable costs in recent years. The implication is that healthcare professionals such as nurses have to use the acquired skills and knowledge to ensure that the strategies used in caring for patients are safe and optimize care outcomes. However, various issues in the clinical environment usually threaten patient safety and the expected care outcomes (Aiken et al., 2018). Therefore, effective strategies should be used to address such clinical problems. Therefore, the purpose of this assignment is to choose and describe a patient safety concern and explore its associated challenges. Besides, the paper will discuss how evidence-based practice and research can be used to address the issue, the quality process that can be applied, the data sources, how data will be captured and disseminated, and explore the organizational culture consideration that can be necessary for the success of the work.

The Issue and Associated Challenges

The chosen patient safety concern is medication errors. Medication errors are those errors related to administering medication to patients, from medication prescription, ordering, and consumption. These errors occur when a particular medication is wrongly used hence causing harm to a patient while the medication is in the control of the buyer, patient, or healthcare worker (Asensi-Vicente et al., 2018). Medication errors have been connected to low-quality patient services and medical services, diminished loss of patient trust in the hospital services, substantial additional healthcare costs, and longer hospital stay. The problem of medication errors is hard to estimate as different classification systems and definitions have been used while trying to measure the prevalence (Márquez-Hernández et al., 2019). Such complexity comes with a lot of variance in the incidence of medication errors.

How EBP, Research, and PI Would be Used In Addressing Medication Errors

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As earlier indicated, medication errors have adverse impacts on patients and, in some cases, lead to the death of patients. Therefore effective strategies should be employed to address the issue and ensure that patients have been patient outcomes. Various strategies can be useful in addressing the issue, for example, evidence-based practice and research and Quality improvement. Evidence-based practice approaches refer to nursing strategies that have been tested and proven to work and be active. The process of evidence-based practice requires that such evidence is retrieved from existing literature that has been published by scholars and researchers in the area of nursing (Green, 2018). For example, current evidence-based practice shows that the use of various technological applications such as bar codes, the use of computerized physician order entry, clinical decision support system, using personal digital assistants, modification of medication and prescription charts, automated dispensing machines, and the use of robots to dispense medication.


Another strategy that can be instrumental in addressing the patient safety issue is the use of research. Research has been helpful for years in revealing the solution to various problems or conditions affecting individual patients and populations. Therefore, research can effectively be applied to help address medication errors (Green, 2018). Indeed, the use of the evidence-based strategies discussed in the previous section has all resulted from years of research work by various researchers. It is worth noting that, even though many strategies have been used and are continually being used, the problem of medication errors still exists. This is where research comes in to help in revealing potentially better strategies for solving the problem of medication errors. In finding better and more robust strategies to solve the problem, the existing practice gaps using the existing strategies can be used by researchers to formulate relevant clinical questions, which can then be used to guide the research efforts.

Performance improvement is another key strategy that can be applied to address medication errors in clinical settings. Performance improvement entails a continuous study and improving the healthcare services process in an effort to meet the patient’s and others’ needs. Therefore, in using the performance improvement, the organization first considers the existing poor performance, such as increased incidences of medication errors as a manifestation of issues embedded in the system and pertaining to care delivery. As opposed to quality improvement that emphasizes more on the system’s performance, performance improvement focuses more the human performance. Therefore, the organization can use performance improvement strategies to reduce medication errors resulting from the nurses’ ignorance and omission. For example, training sessions can be organizations after specific durations to train and remind the nurses on what needs to be done to avoid medication errors resulting from negligence, omission, and ignorance.

The Chosen Performance Improvement Process

As discussed in the previous section, performance improvement can be key in addressing the problem of medication errors in the clinical setting. However, the implementation of such performance improvement initiatives is more effective when they follow well-established processes. One of the models that can be used for performance improvement is the PDCA model. First introduced by Walter Shewhart, the PDCA model has been widely applied in the process, quality, and performance improvement in many organizations (Isniah et al., 2020). The PDCA is an acronym for Plan, Do, Check and Act. This process has been chosen since it has four distinct phases of improving performance. Therefore, it makes it easy to implement the proposed improvement to address medication errors in phases and find out whether it works in the check stage.

In the plan phase, the importance of addressing the medication errors situation is brought into perspective, and what is expected to make the change is defined. Again, the expected results are listed after the problem has been explored, and the improvement opportunity revealed. Important questions are asked during the planning phase, such as what will be used to know that the change has taken place? The next phase of the process is do. In this phase, the identified solution to medication errors is implemented as a change to see the impacts (Isniah et al., 2020). During this stage, various aspects are carefully studied, and unexpected observations or problems are documented.

The check phase is then used in checking the results of the implemented solution. Again, the results are compared to the predictions. It is in this phase where the results before implementation and after implementation are compared to find out the differences and if there was any improvement observed (Isniah et al., 2020). In addition, lesson learned from the performance improvement process is documented. The final phase of the process is the Act phase which entails the implementation of the change in full scale. During this phase, protocols, guidelines, procedures, and policies surrounding the newly implemented change are documented, and the same is communicated to every member of staff in the organization.


Data Sources, Outcome, and Process Data

Data for evaluating medication errors in the care environment can be obtained from various sources. One of such sources is the patient medical records (Sun et al., 2018). Such records can reveal if the patients have had cases of medication errors impacting them. The administrative data source can also be used in obtaining data. These data included reports written regarding cases of medication errors such as occurrence, reporting, and in some cases, disciplinary proceedings. Patient survey data can also be a key source of data. Such surveys seek patient opinions and thoughts on issues around medication errors; hence they can be a valuable source of data.

Among the outcomes data that can be considered is the incidence of medication errors (Asensi-Vicente et al., 2018). Before any performance improvement is undertaken, the baseline data can be checked as it will be compared with what is observed after performance improvement. One of the process data includes the number of staff that use the new intervention that has been proposed or implemented in the organization. This data can be useful in determining how well the proposed change or performance improvement has been accepted within the organization.

How Data will be Captured and Disseminated

Data is important in performance and quality improvement initiatives. Therefore, appropriate data capture strategies should be used. Electronic health records can be used for capturing quality data as it contains every patient’s data (Kruse et al., 2018). The system electronically captures data and stores it in electronic form. It is then easy to disseminate the data through an electronic process. In addition, such data can be backed up as soft copies and retrieved at any time for use. Therefore, the electronic method will be key in data capturing and dissemination.

The Organizational Culture Considerations

            Addressing clinical problems in the clinical setting requires that organizational culture is taken into consideration (Yoo et al., 2019). One aspect that can be important or key is collaboration. Collaboration is key in ensuring that every individual is brought on board and actively participates in addressing the problem. Therefore, if collaboration is part of the organizational culture, then there are higher chances of implementing the proposed solution to address the problem.


It is a matter of importance that patients are safe in the care environment. Therefore, strategies should be implemented to address the issue. EBP, research, and performance improvement processes have been explored as among the strategies to address the problem. In addition, the PDCA models have been explored as a process to be used in implementing the performance improvement initiative.


Aiken, L. H., Sloane, D. M., Barnes, H., Cimiotti, J. P., Jarrín, O. F., & McHugh, M. D. (2018). Nurses’ and patients’ appraisals show patient safety in hospitals remains a concern. Health Affairs37(11), 1744-1751. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2018.0711.

Asensi-Vicente, J., Jiménez-Ruiz, I., & Vizcaya-Moreno, M. F. (2018). Medication errors involving nursing students: A systematic review. Nurse educator43(5), E1-E5. 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000481.

Green, C. (2018). Medication simulation: Enhancing nursing students’ clinical environmental awareness through self-care and promotion of patient safety. Whitireia Nursing and Health Journal, (25), 37-51. Doi: 10.3316/informit.280897746533951.

Isniah, S., Purba, H. H., & Debora, F. (2020). Plan do check action (PDCA) method: literature review and research issues. Jurnal Sistem dan Manajemen Industri4(1), 72-81. https://doi.org/10.30656/jsmi.v4i1.2186.

Kruse, C. S., Stein, A., Thomas, H., & Kaur, H. (2018). The use of electronic health records to support population health: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of medical systems42(11), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10916-018-1075-6

Márquez-Hernández, V. V., Fuentes-Colmenero, A. L., Cañadas-Núñez, F., Di Muzio, M., Giannetta, N., & Gutiérrez-Puertas, L. (2019). Factors related to medication errors in the preparation and administration of intravenous medication in the hospital environment. PloS one14(7), e0220001. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0220001.

Sun, W., Cai, Z., Li, Y., Liu, F., Fang, S., & Wang, G. (2018). Data processing and text mining technologies on electronic medical records: a review. Journal of healthcare engineering2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/4302425.

Yoo, J. Y., Kim, J. H., Kim, J. S., Kim, H. L., & Ki, J. S. (2019). Clinical nurses’ beliefs, knowledge, organizational readiness and level of implementation of evidence-based practice: The first step to creating an evidence-based practice culture. PloS one14(12), e0226742. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226742


The purpose of this assignment is to apply the concepts you have learned in this course to a situation you have encountered. Choose one quality or patient safety concern with which you are familiar and that you have not yet discussed in this course. In a 1,250-1,500-word essay, reflect on what you have learned in this course by applying the concepts to the quality or patient safety concern you have selected. Include the following in your essay:

Briefly describe the issue and associated challenges.
Explain how EBP, research, and PI would be utilized to address the issue.
Explain the PI or QI process you would apply and discuss why you chose it.
Describe your data sources, including outcome and process data.
Explain how the data will be captured and disseminated.
Discuss which organizational culture considerations will be essential to the success of your work. This assignment uses a rubric.
Use a minimum of four peer-reviewed, scholarly sources as evidence.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.

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