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NURS 6053 Discussion Review of Current Healthcare Issues Essay
One of the most prevalent issues in healthcare is short staffing and an increased hospital capacity. Regardless of region or population this continues to be prevalent across the U.S. Whether it be overpopulation causing strain on medical systems or in rural communities a decrease in trained professionals to staff facilities. I have had the unique experience of being a travel nurse and had the opportunity to aide in staffing shortages. My nursing experience has mainly been in ICU but I also have worked in ER, PACU, ambulatory surgical centers, progressive care units and supervisor experience. I was able to market myself through my various experience and help in various areas during my time as a traveler. This experience led me to a new full time opportunity as a peri-operative float, which is allowing me to float between pre-operative, intra- operative, and post-operative care. At this hospital I also cross-trained so that I could pick up hours in the ER and ICU as needed. This hospital is a small community-based facility and critical access. Coming into this role it made me think what if a hospital trained more staff like myself to be able to better cover any unit? This would create a “flexible staff” and could improve staffing shortages to specialty units and limit the need to bring in traveler or temporary staff.
This hospital I am currently working in is one that I worked at years ago in the ICU. The ICU was notorious for having a high turn over due to high stress so often half of our staff was made up of travelers. While travelers offer a unique view point and broad experience there is often a learning curve due to unfamiliarity of hospital and protocols. So instead of bringing in outside staff what if each unit selected a handful of nurses from their existing staff to orient and train in the various units. The hospital I work at will pull staff from one unit to another based on census but those nurses pulled are often put into the role of “helping hands”, nursing aides, or safety sitters due to lack of knowledge to care for patients in different specialties. But if instead we had designated nurses in every department who could be deployed to take a patient assignment anywhere it would improve staffing productivity. This also would improve critical thinking skills and develop a nursing workforce with an increased knowledge base. Building a program like this would require a break down of hospital needs and input from current staff. Determining challenges in training that may require multiple float pool groups, for example in larger hospitals it may not be obtainable to have these nurses work in every department. But breaking float pools into groups like critical care float which would include ER training, maternity/pediatric float pool, surgical float pool, and then med-surg and floor nursing. Building programs that utilize a float pool is an effective way to combat staffing shortages while also being more cost effective to the hospital (Larson, 2021). Increasing float pool staff also improve retention and staffing satisfaction one hospital organization found. This is related to improved staffing and it decreased the need for units to pull staff who do not wish to float (Bowie et al, 2022).
In summary, creating a larger float pool staff within a system is just one way to combat short staffing. Having a “flexible” staff who have a broad knowledge and maximizing their skills will build a stronger nursing force. A float pool program will decrease the need to bring in traveler staff, which improves costs. It also has been shown to improve staff satisfaction and retention.
Bowie, D., Shelley, K., Weigel, K., & Schrezinger, T. (2022, March 27). How to build a flexible nursing workforce program: Making The dream a reality. Nurse Leader. Retrieved February 26, 2023, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1541461222000684
Larson, J. (2021, June 25). Float pools: The next generation. AMN Healthcare. https://www.amnhealthcare.com/amn-insights/scheduling/blog/float-pools/
NURS 6053 Discussion Review of Current Healthcare Issues Essay
If you were to ask 10 people what they believe to be the most significant issue facing healthcare today, you might get 10 different answers. Escalating costs? Regulation? Technology disruption?
These and many other topics are worthy of discussion. Not surprisingly, much has been said in the research, within the profession, and in the news about these topics. Whether they are issues of finance, quality, workload, or outcomes, there is no shortage of changes to be addressed.
In this Discussion, you examine a national healthcare issue and consider how that issue may impact your work setting. You also analyze how your organization has responded to this issue.
- Review the Resources and select one current national healthcare issue/stressor to focus on.
- Reflect on the current national healthcare issue/stressor you selected and think about how this issue/stressor may be addressed in your work setting.
By Day 3 of Week 1
Post a description of the national healthcare issue/stressor you selected for analysis, and explain how the healthcare issue/stressor may impact your work setting. Then, describe how your health system work setting has responded to the healthcare issue/stressor, including a description of what changes may have been implemented. Be specific and provide examples.
By Day 6 of Week 1
Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who chose a different national healthcare issue/stressor than you selected. Explain how their chosen national healthcare issue/stressor may also impact your work setting and what (if anything) is being done to address the national healthcare issue/stressor.
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Staffing Shortages as a National Health are Issue/Stressor
Staffing shortages in the health care industry has become a significant issue and stressor all over the nation. Nurses work extremely hard and that is not a secret. With imminent staffing shortages in the health care profession and an increase in the volume of patients seeking care services, patient loads are increasing rapidly, thus making it difficult for nurses already short staff to manage all patient care needs effectively and efficiently (Bakhamis et al.,2019). The United States has a massive nursing shortage, and the problem is only set to grow. Due to an influx of patients into our health system, the retirement of baby boomers, and educational bottlenecks, nursing positions are not being filled fast enough to keep up with demand (Xue et al., 2016). Nurses overworked and understaffed on the front lines. There are millions of registered and licensed practical nurses in the United States. Most of these nurses, however, are not happy and comfortable in their work, they are stress, overworked, underappreciated, and underutilized leading to significant impact on the delivery of care.
Impact on Work Setting
Staffing shortages can have a significant impact on the quality of work, on productivity, creativity, competitiveness, nursing care outcomes, and on ensuring patients’ safety (Norful et al., 2018). At my health care organization due to staffing shortage, nurses sometimes work long hours because other nurses calling in sick, running one to four hours late from working under very stressful conditions resulting in burnout, injury, fatigue, and job dissatisfaction. Nurses suffering in my health care facility delay treatments and make other mistakes due to the relationship of the nurse-to-patient ratio (Xue et al., 2016). An unfortunate outcome is that patient quality of care suffers, resulting in a variety of complications including emergency room overcrowding and delay of treatment.
Organizational Response and Changes Implemented
A range of solutions has been offered as a way to solve the nursing shortage in my health care organization from subsidized funding, hiring new nurses, wage increases, and contracting with nursing agencies for nurses to fill in periodically. My health care organization provides tuition for nurses seeking to advance their degree. In addition, resources have been allocated towards increasing wages which has affected recruitment as well as retention of Registered Nurses already in the facility.
Another important strategy to further address the nursing shortage is that, nurses are allowed scheduling flexibility and coverage. This has help nurses to juggle their busy work schedule with home life and educational opportunities, and also allows room for decompressing between stressful, emotionally demanding shifts and days of work.
Health care of the nation, and patients, in particular will benefit the most from adequate staffing and a healthy and well rested nurse because efficiency and productivity will increase, the number of work-related mistakes at the same time will reduce, sick leaves are going to be rare, shorter, and burnout will not occur often (Norful et al., 2018). By introducing said strategies, we would not only increase staffing in health care but equally, reduce the stress-related illness rate among nurses and would also significantly raise the quality of healthcare and patient outcomes.
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Discussion: Review of Current Healthcare Issues
There are many different issues facing healthcare today. These issues often lead to the adjustment in the healthcare processes as well
as the approaches that need to be undertaken to enhance the quality of healthcare delivery and efficient outcomes. Technology disruption is one of the main healthcare issues that is experienced by most healthcare institutions. With the increase in the use of different technologies, more healthcare institutions often face challenges associated with the complexities brought about by the computerized systems (Ford et al., 2017). Technological disruption is changing different aspects of future healthcare from the diagnosis processes to how patients are treated. The advanced technologies such as the artificial intelligence, 3D printing, Internet of Things are no longer sci-fi fantasy. In other words, these technological innovations are going to enter healthcare industry sooner. As a result, they will bring a lot of disruptions in the normal operational processes.
Technological disruption is more likely to impact different healthcare settings. In my case, technological disruption may enhance the diagnosis and treatment processes. In most cases, there are always problems encountered by both patients and healthcare professionals in the management of different patients (Herrmann et al., 2018). For instance, medication error is one of the main issue that can be solved by the technological innovations. Further, technological disruption is more likely to render many healthcare professionals jobless. For example, with the incorporation of the artificial intelligence in the healthcare system, most of the healthcare activities will be undertaken by the computerized programs in a more accurate fashion. Technological innovation/disruption may enhance quality delivery and facilitate patient’s safety in different healthcare processes.
My organization has responded to the issue of technological innovation through the reorganization of the work environment as well as working approaches to ensure the realization of quality outcomes. Further, in my healthcare institution, there are training processes to ensure that healthcare professionals understand different aspect of this healthcare issue and how to enhance the implementation processes.
NURS 6053 Discussion Review of Current Healthcare Issues Essay References
Ford, G., Compton, M., Millett, G., & Tzortzis, A. (2017). The role of digital disruption in healthcare service innovation. In Service business model innovation in healthcare and hospital management (pp. 57-70). Springer, Cham. https://doi/10.1007/978-3-319-46412-1_4
Herrmann, M., Boehme, P., Mondritzki, T., Ehlers, J. P., Kavadias, S., & Truebel, H. (2018). Digital transformation and disruption of the health care sector: internet-based observational study. Journal of medical internet research, 20(3), e104. https//doi/org/2018/3/e104/
Review of Current Healthcare Issues
The perennial nursing shortage is a national healthcare issue of concern. Statistics at national and international levels show that the shortage of healthcare worker (HCWs) is profound and affects effective and quality service delivery. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that the nursing shortage could hit 12.9 million by 2035 (Marc et al., 2018). Nursing shortage creates unsafe working environment and increases fatigue, high turnover rates, and make nurses susceptible to medication administration errors. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation as the demand for healthcare services has increased, leading to more strain and burden on nurses, especially those working in critical care settings and others with elderly patient populations with chronic and terminal conditions.
Nursing shortage has impacted my work setting negatively as we enhance efforts to provide care to a patient diversity coming to the facility. Low staff retention, reduced levels of patient’s satisfaction, and a rise in hospital acquired infections are some of the negative effects of nursing shortage in our facility. When patient workload exceeds the available shift nurses, patients experience low levels of satisfaction. Unsafe staffing ratios contribute to burnout and high turnover rates (Alenezi et al., 2018). Further, increased length of stay happens due to higher nurse-to-patient ratios lead to more complications and a rise of hospital acquired infections.
Many healthcare settings are struggling in responding to nursing shortage because of the few options available (Marshall & Broome, 2017). Our facility is now leveraging technologies like telehealth to enhance access and quality for patients with chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension who require constant monitoring. While studies show that nursing supply may exceed demand in the near future, using technologies and innovative models like increased training and flexibility can help organizations mitigate the adverse effects of nursing shortage.
NURS 6053 Discussion Review of Current Healthcare Issues Essay References
Alenezi, A. M., Aboshaiqah, A., & Baker, O. (2018). Work‐related stress among nursing staff
working in government hospitals and primary health care centers. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 24(5). https://doi.org/10.1111/ijn.12676
Marc, M., Bartosiewicz, A., Burzynska, J., Chmiel, Z., & Januszewicz, P. (2018). A
nursing shortage – a prospect of global and local policies. International Nursing Review, 66(1), 9-16. https://doi.org/10.1111/inr.12473.
Marshall, E. S., & Broome, M. E. (2017). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert
clinician to influential leader (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer
Global healthcare systems are facing unprecedented times and uncertain future based on the current situation of Covid-19 pandemic. This has prompted quick adoption of technology in healthcare systems from booking of appointments to billing. Therefore, I believe one of the major current healthcare issues is on technology disruption. Much questions have been raised on the big data usage, incorporation of telehealth, synchronization of the national health data systems and on the confidentiality and security of the patient’s health records as cases of cybersecurity have soared with increased adoption of information technology in healthcare (Sittig et al., 2018).
Big data in healthcare systems refers to the accumulation of large sets of digital information about the patients’ biodata, medical history, clinical interventions, current and past medical concerns of the patients. This data is accumulated overtime rather than that which is received in small amounts and not stored for future references (Thew, 2016). This prompts the healthcare nurse informatics to employ the use of data analytics and data mining tools so that they can extract meaningful patterns, study the correlation and develop predictions (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018). Use big data has proved to be essential in healthcare management especially when analyzed and used to inform critical decision-making points and even guide future evidence-based change projects (Byrd et al, 2018). This information is used by managers and administrators to identify patterns and areas of strength and weakness within the system and help plan in resource allocation.
However, big data faces one of the greatest security challenges especially on the confidentiality of the patient’s information. Cases of cyber insecurity have been rising since most healthcare facilities and organizations adopted use of technology to manage the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. The patient’s confidential data may be easily accessed if the systems security checks are not well enforced. In some of the online platforms like Amazon, for online shopping, the systems put in adequate security checks and user authentication and verification steps. The breech of patient’s confidential medical information could have adverse effects on the healthcare facility or organization hence incur a lot of expenses in terms of compensation and in the end the reputation of the organization will also be severely damaged.
Therefore, it is imperative for healthcare organizations and systems that procure any digital platform for managing healthcare records to invest heavily on ensuring the system is safe and secure from cyber security threats and phishing on patient’s data (Bibhuranjan, 2019). Moreover, there is need to improve the software technology to develop systems that are less susceptible to hacking. It is also essential to ensure that patients are well educated on ways of safely using the digital platforms and there should be readily accessible customer care agent to help patient’s carry out proper verification and maintain safety of their data.
Increased usage of digital platforms and information technology poses another safety threat to the patients as they are likely to seek for medical advice from online blogs and unverified media sources that could be misleading to the patients. This information collected on such blogs has no scientifically proven or evidence-based data to support the claims or the medical advice offered. Moreover, the information could be provided by individuals who have no professional training in the areas that they are providing the medical information. There has been rapid increase in blogs from unregistered dietician and fitness coaches whose methods are not scientifically viable to rely on as professional medical procedures. Many patients have fallen prey to such misleading information that even sometimes discourages the use of conventional medication and clinical intervention measures (Young, 2016).
In conclusion, it is imperative for the federal and state government to come up with strict measures, laws and policies that govern the use of information technology in healthcare. The guidelines should be clear and the regulations must be standardized to enhance security of the patients’ data and also safeguard them from unverified and unethical practices and information availed to them on social media platforms. Any digital platforms or media engaging in medical or clinical information must have passed the licensure criteria that would be guided by strict conformity to the ethical issues in healthcare and meets the set standards.
NURS 6053 Discussion Review of Current Healthcare Issues Essay References
Bibhuranjan. (2019). Big data analytics – How beneficial is it for healthcare? Technofaq. https://technofaq.org/posts/2019/05/big-data-analytics-how-beneficial-is-it-for-healthcare/#:~:text=%20Big%20Data%20Analytics-%20Benefits%20in%20the%20Healthcare,is%20very%20important%20for%20any%20organization…%20More
Byrd, T.A., Kung, L., & Wang, Y. (2018). Big data analytics: Understanding its capabilities and potential benefits for healthcare organizations. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 126(1), 3-13. doi:10. 1016/j.techfore.2015.12.019
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Sittig, D. F., Wright, A., Coiera, E., Magrabi, F., Ratwani, R., Bates, D. W., & Singh, H. (2018). Current challenges in health information technology–related patient safety. Health Informatics Journal, 26(1), 146045821881489. https://doi.org/10.1177/1460458218814893
Thew, J. (2016). Big data means big potential, changes for nurse execs. HealthLeaders. https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/nursing/big-data-means-big-potential-challenges-nurse-execs
Young, A. (2016). The pros and cons of big data in the healthcare industry. HealthCareZone. https://www.healthtechzone.com/topics/healthcare/articles/2016/11/18/427248-pros-cons-big-data-the-healthcare-industry.htm