Digital Marketing Essay
Patient safety is a fundamental concern in healthcare settings, and addressing systems-level safety concerns is crucial for ensuring the well-being of patients, staff, and the organization as a whole. The Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation (SBAR) format is a widely recognized tool used to facilitate effective communication among healthcare professionals, particularly in critical situations. In this essay, we will discuss a systems-level safety concern in a healthcare setting using the SBAR format. The selected healthcare-related situation will be analyzed for its impact on patient safety, and an evidence-based practice change will be recommended to address the identified safety concern. This recommendation will take into consideration the principles of a high-reliability organization, potential barriers, interventions to overcome them, shared decision-making, and outcome measures for evaluation.
The healthcare-related situation that prompts a systems-level patient safety concern is the increasing incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in a large urban hospital. Despite the hospital’s efforts to maintain high hygiene standards and infection control protocols, the rate of HAIs has been steadily rising over the past two years. This situation has the potential to impact multiple patients, as HAIs not only affect the infected individuals but also pose a risk to other patients who may be exposed to contaminated surfaces, equipment, or healthcare personnel.
Data Supporting the Need for Change
The data supporting the need for change include an analysis of the hospital’s infection control records, which reveal a concerning trend in the incidence of HAIs. The increase in HAIs is primarily attributed to multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs), which are challenging to treat and pose a significant threat to patient safety. In addition to these internal data, national surveillance systems and studies indicate a growing concern regarding MDROs and HAIs in healthcare settings (Magill et al., 2018).
National Patient Safety Standards
Several national patient safety standards apply to this situation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have established guidelines for infection prevention and control in healthcare settings (CDC, 2019; WHO, 2019). These standards emphasize the importance of hand hygiene, environmental cleaning, and antimicrobial stewardship to reduce HAIs. Furthermore, the Joint Commission, which accredits healthcare organizations in the United States, has specific standards related to infection control and prevention (The Joint Commission, 2021). These standards outline the expectations and requirements for healthcare organizations to ensure patient safety.
The impact of the safety concern on patients, staff, and the organization in this healthcare setting is substantial. HAIs, particularly those caused by MDROs, have dire consequences for patients. They lead to prolonged hospital stays, increased healthcare costs, and, in severe cases, higher mortality rates (Cassini et al., 2019). Patients who acquire HAIs may suffer physical and emotional distress, which can affect their overall quality of life.
The safety concern also has a significant impact on healthcare staff. The increased workload and stress associated with managing HAIs place additional burdens on healthcare providers. This can lead to burnout and decreased job satisfaction, which in turn can negatively affect the quality of care provided (Wu et al., 2020).
From an organizational perspective, the rising incidence of HAIs can lead to financial repercussions due to extended hospital stays and increased use of resources for infection control measures. Moreover, the hospital’s reputation may be tarnished if it is perceived as a facility with high infection rates, which can result in a decline in patient trust and referrals.
Effect on Value for Patients and the Healthcare Setting
The safety concern significantly diminishes the value for patients in this healthcare setting. Patients come to the hospital seeking treatment and healing, but acquiring an HAI can lead to worsened health outcomes, increased suffering, and longer hospital stays. This not only impacts patient satisfaction but also raises concerns about the safety and quality of care provided by the healthcare setting.
In terms of the healthcare setting, the rising incidence of HAIs erodes its reputation as a safe and reliable institution. This can affect patient retention and recruitment of high-quality healthcare professionals, as individuals may be hesitant to seek care or work in a facility with a known safety concern. Ultimately, the safety concern threatens the long-term sustainability and success of the healthcare setting.
Evidence-Based Practice Change
To address the safety concern of increasing HAIs caused by MDROs, an evidence-based practice change should focus on antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention strategies. The hospital should implement a comprehensive program that includes the following elements:
Enhanced Hand Hygiene: Promote rigorous hand hygiene practices among healthcare staff through education, reminders, and regular audits. Ensure that hand hygiene stations are easily accessible throughout the facility (WHO, 2019).
Environmental Cleaning: Implement rigorous cleaning and disinfection protocols for patient rooms and high-touch surfaces. Use effective disinfectants and ensure that environmental services staff are adequately trained (Dancer, 2014).
Antimicrobial Stewardship: Establish an antimicrobial stewardship program to optimize the use of antibiotics. This includes appropriate prescribing, de-escalation of therapy, and monitoring of antibiotic use to reduce the development of MDROs (CDC, 2019).
Isolation and Cohorting: Implement appropriate isolation and cohorting measures for patients with MDROs to prevent transmission within the facility (CDC, 2019).
Staff Education: Provide ongoing education and training to healthcare staff about infection prevention, including proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and adherence to isolation precautions (WHO, 2019).
Alignment with High-Reliability Organization Principles
The recommendation aligns with the principles of a high-reliability organization (HRO) in several ways. HROs prioritize safety and the continuous improvement of processes. By implementing evidence-based infection prevention strategies and antimicrobial stewardship, the healthcare setting demonstrates a commitment to safety and a proactive approach to reducing HAIs. Additionally, HROs emphasize the importance of a culture of safety and open communication.
Potential Barriers to Practice Change
Two potential barriers to implementing the recommended practice change are:
Resistance to Change: Healthcare organizations often face resistance from staff who are accustomed to existing practices. Some healthcare professionals may be resistant to changes in their routines, especially if they perceive them as time-consuming or unnecessary.
Resource Constraints: Implementing comprehensive infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship programs may require additional resources, including funding for training, equipment, and personnel. The healthcare setting may face challenges in allocating these resources effectively.
Interventions to Minimize Barriers
To minimize the barriers mentioned above:
Engage Stakeholders: Involve healthcare staff at all levels in the decision-making process. Encourage open dialogue and address concerns through regular meetings and feedback sessions. This will help build buy-in and reduce resistance to change.
Resource Allocation: Work closely with hospital administration to secure the necessary resources for the practice change. Emphasize the long-term benefits of reducing HAIs, including cost savings and improved patient outcomes.
Significance of Shared Decision-Making
Shared decision-making among relevant stakeholders in implementing this recommendation is essential. Involving clinicians, infection control experts, nurses, and hospital administrators in the decision-making process ensures that the practice change is tailored to the specific needs and challenges of the healthcare setting. It also fosters a sense of ownership and commitment among those responsible for implementing and sustaining the change.
Outcome Measure for Evaluation
To evaluate the results of the recommended practice change, the healthcare setting can use the following outcome measure:
HAI Rate Reduction: Monitor and compare the incidence of HAIs, specifically those caused by MDROs, before and after the implementation of the practice change. Calculate the reduction in HAI rates as a percentage to assess the impact of the intervention on patient safety.
Current Care Delivery Model
The healthcare setting currently follows a traditional care delivery model, characterized by a hierarchical structure with limited interdisciplinary collaboration. Healthcare professionals work in silos, and communication and information sharing may be fragmented. This model can hinder the implementation of the recommended practice change, as it may require a shift towards a more collaborative and patient-centered approach.
Impact of the Recommended Change
The recommended practice change will have a transformative impact on the current care delivery model. It will necessitate greater collaboration among healthcare professionals from different disciplines, such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and environmental services staff. Interdisciplinary teams will need to work together to implement infection prevention strategies, antimicrobial stewardship, and enhanced cleaning protocols. This shift towards a more collaborative model will enhance patient safety by ensuring that all aspects of care are aligned with the goal of infection prevention.
In conclusion, addressing systems-level safety concerns in healthcare settings is paramount for ensuring the well-being of patients, staff, and the organization as a whole. The SBAR format provides a structured approach to analyzing and recommending practice changes. In the case of the increasing incidence of HAIs caused by MDROs, implementing evidence-based infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship strategies aligns with the principles of high-reliability organizations and promotes a culture of safety. Engaging stakeholders, addressing potential barriers, and using outcome measures for evaluation are essential components of this process. Ultimately, the recommended practice change will transform the current care delivery model, fostering collaboration and patient-centered care while improving patient safety and the overall quality of healthcare services.
Cassini, A., Högberg, L. D., Plachouras, D., Quattrocchi, A., Hoxha, A., Simonsen, G. S., … & Monnet, D. L. (2019). Attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years caused by infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the EU and the European Economic Area in 2015: a population-level modelling analysis. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 19(1), 56-66.
Dancer, S. J. (2014). Controlling hospital-acquired infection: focus on the role of the environment and new technologies for decontamination. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 27(4), 665-690.
Magill, S. S., O’Leary, E., Janelle, S. J., Thompson, D. L., Dumyati, G., Nadle, J., … & Edwards, J. R. (2018). Changes in prevalence of health care-associated infections in US hospitals. New England Journal of Medicine, 379(18), 1732-1744.
The Joint Commission. (2021). Infection Prevention and Control.
World Health Organization. (2019). Infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected.
Frequent Asked Questions (FQAs)
What is the SBAR format, and how is it used in healthcare?
Explanation of the SBAR format and its role in facilitating effective communication in healthcare settings.
What is the healthcare-related situation discussed in the essay?
Description of the specific patient safety concern and its potential impact on multiple patients.
What data support the need for change in the healthcare setting?
Explanation of the data sources and evidence presented to justify the recommended practice change.
How do national patient safety standards apply to the situation described in the essay?
Discussion of the relevance of national patient safety standards, such as those from the CDC and WHO, to the identified safety concern.
What is the impact of the safety concern on patients, staff, and the healthcare organization?
Analysis of how the increasing HAIs affect various stakeholders within the healthcare setting.