Sample Answer for NURS FPX 4020 Assessment 1: Enhancing Quality and Safety Included After Question
For this assessment, you will develop a 3–5 page paper that examines a safety quality issue in a health care setting. You will analyze the issue and examine potential evidence-based and best-practice solutions from the literature as well as the role of nurses and other stakeholders in addressing the issue.
For this assessment, you will analyze a safety quality issue in a health care setting and identify a quality improvement (QI) initiative.
Be sure that your plan addresses the following, which corresponds to the grading criteria in the scoring guide. Please study the scoring guide carefully so that you know what is needed for a distinguished score.
- Explain factors leading to a specific patient-safety risk in a health care setting.
- Explain evidence-based and best-practice solutions to improve patient safety and reduce costs.
- Explain how nurses can help coordinate care to increase patient safety and reduce costs.
- Identify stakeholders with whom nurses would coordinate to drive safety enhancements with a specific safety quality issue.
- Communicate using writing that is clear, logical, and professional, with correct grammar and spelling, using current APA style.
A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NURS FPX 4020 Assessment 1: Enhancing Quality and Safety
Title: NURS FPX 4020 Assessment 1: Enhancing Quality and Safety
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are crucial safety and quality concerns in healthcare. Patients develop HAIs while receiving care in a healthcare institution. It is associated with adverse outcomes such as increased healthcare costs, prolonged hospitalization, poor quality of life, and premature mortalities. Nurses and other healthcare providers are responsible for implementing evidence-based interventions that prevent and minimize the risk of HAIs. Interprofessional collaboration helps organizations embrace interventions that would produce sustained improvements in care outcomes. Therefore, this essay examines HAIs. It focuses on topics that include factors that lead to HAIs, evidence-based and best-practice solutions, how nurses can coordinate care, and the stakeholders needed to achieve optimum care outcomes.
Factors Leading to Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)
Several factors contribute to HAIs. One of them is the length of hospital stay. The study by Murni et al.(2022) found that a length stay of more than seven days in the hospital increased the risk of patients developing HAIs. The authors also associated HAIs with severe sepsis, having a central venous catheter or urine catheter, use of non-standardized antibiotics, and being aged less than a year old(Murni et al., 2022). Patient-specific factors also predispose individuals to HAIs. The factors include immunosuppression, age, underlying conditions, and use of immunosuppressive medications, surgical treatments, and severity of an illness. Immunosuppression makes patients vulnerable to opportunistic infections(Cristina et al., 2021). Besides, extreme ages such as children and the elderly are highly at risk of HAIs because of their weak immune systems.
Provider factors also predispose patients to HAIs. Infection prevention techniques such as hand washing and the use of protective equipment such as facemasks during patient care effectively prevent transmission of disease-causing microorganisms to patients. Inadequate hand washing or lack of use of protective equipment predisposes hospitalized patients to HAIs. In addition, lack of sterility when undertaking procedures such as insertion or urinary catheter, suctioning, and surgeries contribute to the development of HAIs by hospitalized patients. Poor sterilization of equipment also predisposes patients to HAIs(Liu et al., 2023). Equipment such as urinary catheters and respiratory and surgical equipment that enter the patient’s body can introduce infective microorganisms when handled poorly.
Evidence-Based and Best-Practice Solutions
Evidence-based and best-practice solutions can be adopted to prevent HAIs. One of the evidence-based strategies that have proven effective in preventing HAIs is hand hygiene. Effective hand hygiene practices such as the use of running water and soap eliminate disease-causing microorganisms. Hand hygiene when entering or leaving patient care areas, before and after the provision of patient care also minimizes the risk of HAIs(Haque et al., 2020). Environmental hygiene is another best practice intervention that can be adopted to prevent and reduce HAIs. Strict environmental hygiene is important in controlling and preventing HAIs. Infected surfaces in hospitals act as reservoirs as well as transmission sources for disease-causing microorganisms(Gray et al., 2019). Hospitals should prioritize regular deep cleaning of all the hospital areas to prevent and minimize infectious diseases.
The other evidence-based approach to improving patient safety by preventing HAIs is advocating for antibiotic stewardship. Healthcare providers should adopt coordinated interventions to enhance the use of antimicrobial medications to reduce antibiotic resistance, improve patient outcomes, and lowering unnecessary healthcare costs. Strategies such as optimal dosage, drug selection, and duration of antibiotic treatment have been shown to reduce the risk of HAIs and improve clinical outcomes in disease management and prevention. Following patient safety guidelines also helps promote safety and reduce costs in the prevention of HAIs. Patient safety improves when healthcare providers follow checklists, guidelines, and policies(Haque et al., 2020). Healthcare policies and guidelines that are embedded in disease prevention and control promote the consistent use of best practices that minimize the risk of harm in the care process.
How Nurses Can Help Coordinate Care
Nurses can help coordinate care to increase patient safety and reduce costs attributed to HAIs. One of the ways in which nurses can help coordinate care is by linking patients to resources. Nurses link patients to resources such as social support and specialized care to improve care outcomes. Nurses can also act as case managers in care coordination. Nurses as case managers can adopt community-targeted interventions, case finding, and care planning to enhance the management of complex problems in populations and organizations(Karam et al., 2021). For example, nurses can collaborate with other healthcare providers to explore efficient strategies to meet the complex health needs of patients at risk of HAIs.
Nurses also coordinate care by identifying patients with social care needs and high healthcare expenditures. They collaborate with other practitioners to develop patient-centered care plans that would minimize disease burden while empowering them to utilize the available resources to achieve their health outcomes. Nurses can also provide direct patient care as part of their care coordination roles. They adopt specific protocols and guidelines that reduce disease risk in the population and perform regular health status assessments and monitoring for optimum health outcomes(Karam et al., 2021). The additional roles in care coordination include screening, monitoring patients’ response to treatment, and responding to the emerging needs for their patients. Nurses also contribute to patient engagement, empowerment, and activation in care coordination. They achieve this by promoting collaborative relationships between them, other healthcare providers, patients, and their families(Russ-Jara et al., 2021). The collaboration strengthens patient involvement in making their treatment decisions and approaches to utilize community resources as well as navigating the healthcare system.
Nurses can coordinate with several stakeholders to drive safety enhancement on issues related to HAIs. Nurse leaders and managers are among the stakeholders who can collaborate with nurses to drive quality improvement initiatives that address HAIs. Nurse leaders and managers can advocate changes that would prevent and minimize HAIs. They also lobby for institutional support for initiatives that address HAIs. Nurses also collaborate with patients and their families. Accordingly, successful prevention of HAIs requires patient and family empowerment. Patients and their families should be aware of the different strategies to prevent opportunistic infections in the hospital setting. This includes strategies such as safe disposal of waste and hand hygiene. Nurses also collaborate with other healthcare providers such as physicians in driving safety enhancement to address HAIs(Russ-Jara et al., 2021). For example, they incorporate interprofessional collaboration into their practice to identify evidence-based practices that can be implemented to minimize the risk of HAIs among hospitalized patients.
In summary, several factors contribute to HAIs. Nurses and other healthcare providers can adopt a range of evidence-based and best-practice interventions to address HAIs to improve safety and reduce care costs. Nurses can also collaborate with different stakeholders to drive safety initiatives that address HAIs. Care coordination can be used to explore interventions that address the unique needs of populations at risk of or affected by HAIs.
Cristina, M. L., Spagnolo, A. M., Giribone, L., Demartini, A., & Sartini, M. (2021). Epidemiology and Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections in Geriatric Patients: A Narrative Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(10), Article 10. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105333
Gray, J., Winzor, G., Mahdia, N., Oppenheim, B., & Johnston, A. (2019). Preventing healthcare-associated infection by sharing research, evidence, and best practice. Journal of Hospital Infection, 101(2), 117–119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2018.12.004
Haque, M., McKimm, J., Sartelli, M., Dhingra, S., Labricciosa, F. M., Islam, S., Jahan, D., Nusrat, T., Chowdhury, T. S., Coccolini, F., Iskandar, K., Catena, F., & Charan, J. (2020). Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections: A Narrative Overview. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, 13, 1765–1780. https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S269315
Karam, M., Chouinard, M.-C., Poitras, M.-E., Couturier, Y., Vedel, I., Grgurevic, N., & Hudon, C. (2021). Nursing Care Coordination for Patients with Complex Needs in Primary Healthcare: A Scoping Review. International Journal of Integrated Care, 21(1), 16. https://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.5518
Liu, X., Long, Y., Greenhalgh, C., Steeg, S., Wilkinson, J., Li, H., Verma, A., & Spencer, A. (2023). A systematic review and meta-analysis of risk factors associated with healthcare-associated infections among hospitalized patients in Chinese general hospitals from 2001 to2022. Journal of Hospital Infection, 135, 37–49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2023.02.013
Murni, I. K., Duke, T., Kinney, S., Daley, A. J., Wirawan, M. T., & Soenarto, Y. (2022). Risk factors for healthcare-associated infection among children in a low-and middle-income country. BMC Infectious Diseases, 22(1), 406. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-022-07387-2
Russ-Jara, A. L., Luckhurst, C. L., Dismore, R. A., Arthur, K. J., Ifeachor, A. P., Militello, L. G., Glassman, P. A., Zillich, A. J., & Weiner, M. (2021). Care Coordination Strategies and Barriers during Medication Safety Incidents: A Qualitative, Cognitive Task Analysis. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 36(8), 2212–2220. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-020-06386-w