As much as hospitals have been doing to improve the quality of care they provide to patients, there is still room for improvement. With every missed diagnosis, medication error, or unmet safety standard, a patient’s life can be put at risk. Therefore, hospitals should focus on strategies that address the most pressing issues. A few of these strategies include reducing medication-related adverse events, optimizing sepsis care, decreasing hospital readmissions, reducing medication administration errors, and improving electronic medical record documentation. Achieving these healthcare performance improvement goals require collaboration between physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical staff. Leaders in the medical field must create a culture of safety and quality improvement to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of their roles in improving the quality of care for patients.
Reduction In Medication-Related Adverse Events
Hospitals must be aware of the risks associated with medications and take steps to reduce them. This can include providing better education on proper dosage, administering drugs only when they are medically necessary, using computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems to minimize errors during prescribing, dispensing, and administering medications, and improving the accuracy of drug labeling.
Optimization of Sepsis Care
Sepsis is a life-threatening illness triggered by an infection that can be caused by either bacteria or viruses. The rapid diagnosis and treatment of sepsis can reduce mortality rates in patients. Therefore, hospitals should make sure their staff is well-trained in recognizing the signs and symptoms of sepsis and be prepared to act quickly with appropriate treatments. They should also move towards using better screening tools to identify patients at risk for this condition.
Reduced Hospital Readmissions
Overall, reducing hospital readmissions can help improve the quality of care and reduce healthcare costs. Hospitals should focus on identifying those factors that contribute to patient readmissions, such as inadequate discharge planning, lack of follow-up appointments or medications, and social determinants of health. They should also provide more education to both providers and patients on the importance of medication adherence and preventative care.
Decreased Medication Administration Errors
Hospitals must ensure that medications are administered correctly and safely. This can be achieved using barcode medication administration (BCMA), which requires healthcare providers to scan a patient’s wristband when giving medications. Such systems help reduce the risk of wrong doses, wrong drugs, or wrong patient errors. Additional measures include improved medication reconciliation processes, the use of automated dispensing cabinets, and providing better training for healthcare staff.
Improved Electronic Medical Record Documentation
EMRs are an important tool for providing safe and effective patient care, thus hospitals should focus on ensuring that they are comprehensive and up-to-date. This includes making sure that all relevant clinical information is captured, clinicians are accurately documenting treatments, and the system can detect potential drug interactions or contraindicated medications.
Health providers must recognize that improving the quality of care for patients is both a moral imperative and an economic necessity. Implementing strategies like those mentioned above, they can help ensure that all patients receive the best quality of care possible. Processes should also be established to provide feedback on performance and hold healthcare staff accountable to ensure that initiatives are successful.