Patients in long-term care facilities have a right to quality services and safety and this ensures that they are protected from the risk of injuries or death while in hospital. To achieve this, these facilities have laid down initiatives that cater to the elimination of such eventualities. They avail the patients with reliable screening systems and ensure that they are free from hospital-acquired injuries. Hygiene and proper sanitation zeros the exposure to infections that patients may contract at the hospital (Virginia Mason Medical Center, 2010). This paper highlights the importance of quality and patient safety, the challenges faced in their implementation as well as the strategies that can improve their provision in long-term care facilities.
Importance of quality and patient safety in long-term care facilities
Quality and patient safety in a long-term care facility is vital as they guarantee that patients’ needs are addressed. In addition, patients develop trust in the health center and this enables them to recover better knowing that they are in safe hands. Family satisfaction is also enhanced in the sense that the family members have peace of mind knowing that their patients are receiving the best quality and patient safety care. Another benefit of quality and patient safety is improved efficiency in matters where the use of resources is concerned.
The health care providers also feel in control and this gives them the satisfaction that leads to better performance. This eliminates medical errors that could put the patient’s health at risk and ensure that injuries and infection risks are kept at bay. In addition, patients feel safe dealing with health care professionals who are competent in their job. The care provided is not only ethical but also compassionate and this provides an ideal recovery process according to Cesta and Tahan (2003, p. 254).
Challenges facing the provision of quality and patient safety
Providing quality and patient safety has been a major challenge in long-term care facilities where ineffective communication is labeled as the greatest test. Interruptions in the way the facility is run pose a risk that could expose the patient to low-quality care and safety. The fact that the hospital staff has eminent differences in the way they are educated in handling some issues creates a challenge when it comes to effective communication. Some facilities are run by overbearing administrations and the staff thereby lacks an avenue to air their concerns. The other challenge is that the health sector is becoming complex every day and many are times when confusion reigns in matters of who is attending to what issue (Friesen et al., 2007).
Strategies for improving and assuring quality and patient safety
To improve and assure quality and patient safety in long-term care facilities, effective communication has to be embraced. There have to be clearly defined communication structures where hierarchical orders are put aside to allow for the proper flow of information from the juniors to the seniors and vice versa. This will go a long way toward providing effective care to the patients and ensuring their safety while in these facilities. In addition, collaboration has to be reinstated where the professionals work as a team towards providing the best quality and patient safety care. Duties have to be well distributed and every professional must play their role accordingly (Friesen et al., 2007).
Quality and patient safety pose many benefits to the health care providers as well as the patients under their care as evidenced by this paper. To ensure that this is achieved, health care professionals must be willing to overcome the highlighted challenges through the described strategies. This will ensure that the patients, their families, and the health care professionals are enjoying a harmonious relationship that will boost quality and patient safety provision.
Cesta, T.G. & Tahan, H.A. (2003). The case manager’s survival guide: winning strategies for clinical practice (2nd edition). USA: Mosby Publishing.
Friesen, M.A., Hughes, R.G. & Zorn, M. (2007). Communication: Patient safety and the nursing work environment. Centre for American Nurses 13 (6): 1-3.
Virginia Mason Medical Center. (2010). Quality and patient safety facts. Team Medicine 4 (10): 1-2.