Nurses are vital drivers, critics, and advocates for healthcare quality management and improvement. Nurses strive and fulfill their professional duties beyond the business goals of a healthcare facility. Their compassionate care and companionship toward patients are also matchless at times of adversity. And their impact extends beyond the technical territory of the medical profession. They accompany patients for a lifelong and ensure patients’ encounter with the healthcare practitioners is more than receiving treatment. And that is only possible if patients receive satisfactory and quality healthcare services.
So, when nurses’ primary purpose is patient well-being and satisfaction, they endeavor no matter the challenges, job scope, and time commitment. They leave no page unturned to fulfill their professional and moral obligations. Sometimes, they are assistants who manage workload and healthcare emergencies along with other teammates. Other times, they scrutinize deficits in healthcare services, campaign for betterment, and lead transformations. In short, their relentless contribution keeps the healthcare system functioning despite countless catastrophes and day-to-day emergencies.
The following sections further discuss how nurses contribute to and influence the quality of healthcare services.
1. Personalized and attentive patient service
Personalized and attentive patient care are inherent to satisfactory and quality healthcare services. As patients’ expectations have expanded, healthcare practitioners also strive to offer a positive care experience. Since nurses make up the majority healthcare workforce, their contribution to satisfactory and personalized experience is also significant.
Catering to patients’ unconventional needs is also part of their professional training rather than mere job protocol. For instance, aspiring individuals who pursue online psychiatric nurse practitioner programs no GRE learn that attending to patients’ sentiments and grievances is also part of the treatment. That’s why they build a compassionate relationship with patients before accompanying them to treatment stages. They ensure every patient receives impartial healthcare service regardless of their health challenges and without prejudice or categorization. That’s how their efforts lead to a satisfactory care experience.
2. Connect healthcare decision-makers and service recipients
Healthcare practitioners cannot deliver quality care without recognizing and comprehending the struggles and challenges of patients. Therefore, a transparent connection is necessary to identify what patients demand. It is more important than business ambitions and goals. That’s why nurses endeavor for patients’ comfort so that they can open up about their healthcare challenges. Dialogue with patients is a fundamental substance for healthcare policies. Decision-makers ponder over what patients anticipate and design healthcare services accordingly.
However, since patients cannot reach policy-making platforms, nurses represent their concerns. Nurses possess both knowledge and influence, and decision-makers attend to their discussions regarding healthcare quality with high regard. Their opinion and involvement are guiding and navigating tools for decision-makers to entertain patients with high-quality services.
3. Spot healthcare challenges at early stages
Generally, physicians do not attend to patients as much as the nursing staff. Even if their involvement in patient care has higher precedence, it is limited in duration and scope. They only attend to patients for specialized therapeutic procedures and healthcare concerns and leave tertiary matters to the support staff, such as nurses. They can miss signs and symptoms of emerging healthcare conditions during a brief interaction with patients. But nurses spend most of their engagement time looking after and observing patients and resolving their healthcare issues. They can readily spot healthcare challenges early on and report to concerned experts. As a result, nurses help minimize healthcare complications and patients’ suffering while invoking early expert intervention and treatment.
Nurses also prepare patients for all possibilities concerning their condition and treatment alternatives if situations spiral out of control. It means the early-stage diagnosis is one factor for quality healthcare services.
4. Minimize malpractice incidents
Malpractice incidents are an inescapable reality in the healthcare profession. Even trivial mistakes like the misinterpretation of patient records lead to diagnosis errors. Negligence while administering medication dosages can prolong disease persistence or increase complications. Whatever the nature, malpractice incidents compromise patients’ well-being and safety. According to the World Health Organization, malpractice is among the leading risk factors for mortality across the globe.
So, the nursing staff, being 50% of the healthcare workforce, is liable to oversee standard safety practices. They also coordinate with fellow workers, administrators, doctors, patients, and attendants to ensure uniformity in practice. In addition, they also assist in research initiatives to inspect shortfalls of healthcare facilities that lead to malpractice errors. They maintain close and constant interaction with patients to receive their feedback on safety measures of healthcare services and guide safety practices accordingly.
5. Minimize healthcare complications with patient awareness
Realistically, every healthcare challenge does not require immediate and 24/7 care in a healthcare facility. Patients can manage several conditions if they have some know-how about prevention and precaution. Prevention and precaution measures and diligent practice can minimize complications for patients. Here, nurses intervene in the loop to introduce prevention and precaution protocols and monitor compliance. They contribute to patients’ education and awareness. They prepare patients so that they can manage early-stage healthcare alerts and chronic illnesses on their own.
Nurses also persuade patients for regular healthcare checkups if their condition requires so. In short, they prepare and empower patients for a primary role in their healthcare decisions and management. Thus, patients do not recover solely with expert assistance. But they leave healthcare facilities more informed and aware of their well-being and maintenance prerequisites.
6. Facilitate smooth communication between patients and experts
Nurses do not have an assisting role merely for the sake of it. They are knowledgeable participants who intervene in healthcare services at several stages. For instance, they execute varied soft skills to create a conducive environment for effective communication among various stakeholders. Their involvement as a mediator between patients and experts yields several advantages for both sides. They know that a transparent and seamless communication link is key to patient-centric and safe care.
Otherwise, research studies show that communication problems account for nearly 27% of malpractice incidents and errors in healthcare practice. Nurses ensure patients receive prompt expert attention before situations get worse or uncontrollable. They keep track of every patient’s condition, evaluate treatment efficacy, and keep physicians in the loop. At the same time, they also ensure physicians do not exhaust themselves with overwork and needless bothering.
Nurses have a deeply rooted involvement in healthcare services and quality enhancement. They may not provide specialized care, but their contribution to the healthcare system is incomparable and invaluable. They care less about their apprehension and grievances but advocate for patient satisfaction. And the future has even more space, scope, and involvement for nursing professionals and practitioners. Thus, nurses will continue to influence healthcare services and patient outcomes.