Continuous Quality Improvement and Patient Satisfaction: The Role of Nursing Leaders and Nursing Managers Name of Author Author’s Affiliation Author Note Author note with more information about affiliation, research grants, conflict of interest and how to contact Continuous Quality Improvement and Patient Satisfaction: The Role of Nursing Leaders and Nursing Managers Providing high quality healthcare to citizens is the primary responsibility of organizations serving in this field…
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While nursing management involves the processes of “controlling resources, budgeting, and staffing” (Jones, 2007, p. 15), nursing leadership envisages a broader concept of developing “mission and goals” and garnering “support from the staff” in the attainment of such missions and goals” (Jones, 2007, p. 15). Therefore, in the context of continuous quality improvement in a healthcare facility, the roles of nursing managers and nursing leaders are different yet complimentary to each other. Basically, the quality of service of a nursing home or hospital depends on the care a nurse extends to patients. Hence, the attainment of continuous quality improvement and patient satisfaction relies largely on nurses. Thus, the nurse leaders and managers have a crucial role to play in improving quality of service, to attain patient satisfaction by adopting a proactive approach to deliver sustained quality through the application of relevant theories, principles and skills in efficiently handling their role in a healthcare setting. Research evidence suggests that in order to adequately resolve various problems relating to nursing practice and work environment in a healthcare facility, there is an imperative need for “visible, supportive and transformational leadership” (Hughes, n.d. p. 11). This study also finds that “understaffing is associated with an increase in errors and adverse events” and patients in many cases have to prolong their stay in hospitals for longer durations (Hughes, n.d. p. 12). Thus, when considering these issues from the perspective of continuous quality improvement, a nursing leader should focus her attention on the aspects of care by motivating her team members to revamp their system of functioning to make sure that they eliminate all possibilities of error, either in medication, falls or any other aspects. She must also encourage the staff to provide proper bedside care and take initiatives to minimize the stay of patients in the hospital. On the other hand, the nurse manager’s approach must be to evolve a proper system of training for the staff, especially to address the areas where errors have occurred. Similarly, she also needs to convince the top management of the effect on the care giving system due to the deficiency of staff, and get the vacant positions filled. When a healthcare facility receives bad publicity or experiences any steep fall in patient rates, it signals a decline in the quality of service. In such eventualities, the management needs to take stock of the situation and respond to it. The primary onus falls on the nursing manager and leader and they must view it not merely from the point of view of addressing the present issue but from the scope of implementing a suitable action plan so that compromise of quality does not recur in future. Their approach should focus on attaining continuous quality improvement and sustaining in the long run. Such developments also call for the implementation of a change process with a view to overhauling the functional machinery of the organization. Thus, the nursing manager and leader will have to evaluate the need for change in terms of organizational, cultural and structural frameworks and address the issues through developing “
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