Nursing is and always will be challenging. Nurses hold people’s lives in their hands and to continue to be great nurses, we must always strive to improve the quality of care we provide. That isn’t easy if we don’t have proper feedback, and the information necessary to help us improve. Feedback is essential to helping nurses thrive and grow in their roles.
Ever Changing Regs and Challenges
In today’s healthcare environment we meet many challenges everyday that perhaps didn’t exist even a few months ago. One major goal no matter what your niche, is to reduce costs while maintaining quality. The challenge then becomes how to work smarter and not harder because reducing costs can also translate to cutting staff. That works only if you have the buy-in of everyone, and the information to help staff understand the what and why.
In home health and hospice, for example, Medicare drives the ship and regs change frequently. If we don’t help staff understand the purpose and the effects of those changes, we don’t get the buy-in we need to be successful. Hospitals have gone through many changes in the past few years as well. The key element is meeting reimbursement and providing quality care,
Reducing Readmission and Avoiding Never Events
Never events and reducing hospital readmission are but two huge issues incorporating continuous quality improvement and revising patient care delivery. Both are directly tied to reimbursement. And that is only going to get more difficult to achieve. It’s a perfect situation for performance improvement and the data feedback from Medicare provides some of the best evidence of successes and failure.
As part of the continuum of care, home health and hospice have to pick up the ball and run with it. The goal always to help patients assume responsibility for their own health status and improve their outcomes. If we can help patients maintain a status quo and prevent complications, we will see a tremendous improvement in health status over all along with a significant reduction in healthcare costs. To accomplish this, nurses have to spend more quality time with patients providing patient education. And they need feedback to help them understand and improve their patient education skills. It’s a paradigm shift from doing for the patient to helping him do for himself. In some realms this has taken place much faster than others. And it’s not difficult to imagine that some nurses have resisted the change with all their might, while others have welcomed the challenge.
Collaboration with HR, Staff Development and QI
Nurses are typically over achievers and will strive to meet and exceed expectations, but it’s imperative they have the information and the education to improve their skills to meet these needs and goals. Nurses need to be kept aware of the outcomes from data being collected for reimbursement purposes and how their individual participation helps or hinders. This is a process for HR and the staff education department to collaborate along with quality improvement. The data is readily available, the feedback needs to be derived and disseminated. Talent management software is just one of the possible solutions for storing and reporting feedback.
With information and feedback, nurses will rise to the challenge and prove they are the backbone of the healthcare industry. Nurses will feel accomplished and thrive in their roles. There will be a reduced turn over of staff and patient outcomes will improve.