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DNP 835 Topic 6 Discussion Question Two

DNP 835 Topic 6 Discussion Question Two


Patient-centered care has been shown to increase positive patient outcomes. Provide an example of how collaboration within the health care team has enhanced patient outcomes in your practice.

1. Promote more well-informed diagnoses

 Every successful treatment, and path to a positive patient outcome, begins with a correct and timely diagnosis. Usually, when a patient goes to see a doctor, the first few minutes determine the subsequent treatment steps – directly influencing the success of the treatment and its cost. This makes it all the more important to have a quick and reliable decision-making process for diagnosis. Otherwise, there is risk of an unsuccessful or incorrect treatment, services being performed that are not billable, and avoidable readmissions.

However, diagnosis itself can be a particularly complex challenge. There is potential for human error, as well as errors arising from the system itself. Doctors can make cognitive errors, for example, by fixating on a specific diagnosis too quickly and ignoring or misinterpreting contradictory data and information for too long. The larger healthcare system may also contribute to diagnostic errors through the loss of information, delays, or misunderstandings when forwarding information – both within a hospital and to external facilities providing subsequent treatment.

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2. Support optimal treatment planning

 Usually, diagnostic procedures are followed by a treatment decision, and for most diagnoses, there are multiple possible treatment options. Selecting the right approach for a given patient can have a significant impact on the outcome. The increasing use of clinical pathways, fueled by evidence-based practices, can help encourage practitioners to implement treatment strategies that have been proven to yield better results at a lower cost.

However, sound treatment planning remains especially challenging with patients who suffer from several diseases at the same time or who suffer from a rare or complex disorder (for which advances in diagnosis have often outpaced advances in treatment). Across the European Union, approximately 30 million people suffer from one of the 8,000 rare medical conditions currently known and

DNP 835 Topic 6 Discussion Question Two

DNP 835 Topic 6 Discussion Question Two

recognized, for which treatment options are often still insufficiently researched.⁵ Here, too, advanced technology can make a difference.

3. Take good care of your clinicians


It has become increasingly evident that the atmosphere and working conditions within a hospital can have a profound impact on patient outcomes.

For instance, a study of nurse practitioners’ environments in the United States observed a strong correlation between better care environments (i.e., better staffing, investments in staff development, quality management, frontline manager supervisory ability, and good relations with physicians) and reduced patient mortality.7

This point is reinforced in a 2008 review of the international evidence concerning the correlation between nursing practice environments and patient outcomes. One of the evaluated studies noted significantly better outcomes among hospitals that were awarded Magnet status, an award given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to hospitals that satisfy a set of criteria designed to measure the strength and quality of their nursing department. The authors attributed this difference in outcomes to organizational features through which nurses experienced greater autonomy, more control over their practice, and better relationships with physicians.

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