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Healthcare quality improvement and patient safety efforts today are largely digital and data-rich. It’s easier than ever to collect, share, analyze, and execute on information to make better decisions. While there’s no such thing as too much data when it concerns the safety of patients and the efficacy of providers, what matters greatly is that we use the data in a meaningful way. It sounds easy enough, but in practice, it’s a challenge for many healthcare organizations.
As health systems navigate COVID-19 and the ongoing challenges caused by the pandemic, it’s clear that decisions related to their workforce are a critical part of their crisis response. Whether those decisions are about determining how to staff for a surge of critically ill patients or how to protect the bottom line after the cancellation of weeks of elective procedures, these decisions are high stakes and have an enormous impact on the entire organization.
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The healthcare industry will collectively look back on the COVID-19 pandemic as the catalyst for telemedicine finally coming into its own as a viable care delivery model—and in just a matter of weeks at that.
Incident reporting, also known as event reporting, used to be about tracking adverse events in the hospital. But hospitals are no longer the center of healthcare delivery universe, patients are. As providers increasingly administer care and services in outpatient or retail clinics, specialty centers, and via telemedicine, our safety and quality improvement tools must adapt as well. In other words, follow the patient to prevent harm.
The initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic may have passed, but the ongoing threat to our communities and workers endures. For health systems, responding to the crisis has meant rapid changes to workforce management policy and practice. At API Healthcare, those changes have led to many consultations with our broad, diverse base of customers: large and small, rural and urban, academic and regional, and everything in between. This list documents where we’ve seen patterns of success with the intent of helping you to consider new options, solidify improvements and build a solid foundation for what is to come.
While it might seem coincidental that the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world during the Year of the Nurse, there could be no better time than now to recognize the value of nurses. The Year of the Nurse and Midwife was declared by the World Health Organization to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12. This is the first time the WHO has declared a designated year for anything. The designation was intended to highlight the contributions of nurses everywhere; to mobilize action to address the shortage of nurses worldwide; and, to reduce the effect that shortage has on the health of people everywhere. Ironically, in 2020 we find ourselves in a terrible battle, just like Florence Nightingale did on the fields of the Crimean war where she battled infections, unfathomable injuries, and mortality with shortages of supplies.