Organizational Policies And Practices To Support Healthcare Issues
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Competing needs, such as needs of the workplace, resources, and patients, have a significant impact on the development of policy. The goal of healthcare policy is to shape and protect the health and wellbeing of the population (USAHS, 2021). Competing needs cause challenges on the development of policies. For example, a policy to improve patient education would need to consider the issue of poor health literacy. The policy would then be required to address patients health literacy and strategies to improve health literacy.
Poor health literacy is a major problem in the healthcare industry. Poor health literacy leads to an increase in emergency room visits , hospitalizations, and low medication adherence (Joszt, 2018). There are several competing needs that impact health literacy including, poverty, age, education, race/ethnitcity, and disability (HealthyPeople.gov, 2022). The biggest competing need is the lack of basic medical terminology. Nurses are required to provide education to patients but it is useless if patients do not understand the terminology. This competing need has an impact on patients health outcomes. Patients not understanding the education provided can lead to poor health outcomes. Poor health outcomes consist of more hospitalizations, mortality, and even morbidity.
A policy can address these issues by delivering “health information in ways that are easy to understand” (DHHS, 2021). Nurses should use simple words that are easy for patients to understand and verify that the education was understood. Policies should address utilizing methods such as the teach-back method, to ensure patients understand. Ensuring that the patient understands will improve patient health outcomes.
HealthyPeople.gov. (2022). Health Literacy. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-health/interventions-resources/health-literacy
University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. (2021). Healthcare Policy: What is it and Why it is Important? Retrieved from https://www.usa.edu/blog/healthcare-policy/
- S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2021). National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy. Retrieved from https://health.gov/our-work/national-health-initiatives/health-literacy/national-action-plan-improve-health-literacy
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Extensive Working Hours Ethical Management
The extensive working hours system increases the exhaustion of these practitioners, increasing their potential to commit medical errors, undermining their health, and reducing the overall health outcome of the patients. The paper analyzes how influential leaders balance organizational needs and the need to ensure quality, effectiveness, and patient care safety.
The extensive working hours increase nurses’ burnout, undermine their potential performance, increase the potential for medical errors and reduce the overall healthcare outcome for the patients. According to Ganesan et al. (2019), fewer sleep durations from the extensive work shifts decreased work performance and impaired the practitioners from an analysis of the impact of the shift system on performance, alertness, and sleep on health care workers. To this end, the extensive working hours undermine the nurses’ service care delivery and improvement of overall population health. However, the organization requires the services of these practitioners with the increasing demand for health care workers.
To balance the reduction of medical errors, the guarantee of medical safety, and the need for the services demanded by the organization, the practitioners reduce the number of working hours required for the nurses (Ganesan et al., 2019). Organizations that reduce the number of working hours recognize the importance of the contribution of the healthcare workers to the organization and thus record better performances from the healthcare workers and reduce medical errors, ensuring medical safety. To mitigate the losses resulting from reducing the number of working hours for the practitioners, some organizations recommend voluntary overtime from the nurses (Watanabe & Yamauchi, 2018). The nurses register no significant change in their well-being during the service provision since the overtime extensions by the healthcare workers are voluntary. Therefore, the organizations that employ voluntary working hours record better performances, improved well-being of the healthcare workers, and reduced medical errors compared to the practitioners who work mandatory overtime.
The reduction of working hours and consideration of voluntary over the mandatory working hours reflect the organization’s recognition of their employees’ contribution and ensure medical safety. According to Kelly & Porr (2018), organizations that consider the contribution of their employees create an ethical and positive working environment for their employees hence motivating their healthcare workers to perform better and help the organization achieve its goals. Further, the organization’s role is to ensure its workers’ safety and better health outcomes from its intervention procedures through its ethical practice (Milliken, 2018). Therefore, compliance with the ethical guidelines through balancing the organization’s needs and the health workers and the patient’s safety is essential in promoting improvement in the population’s overall health.
In conclusion, due to ethical awareness, healthcare organizations, in ensuring medical safety and dealing with the organizations’ healthcare service demand and workers deficit, reduce the number of working hours and prefer voluntary to mandatory overtime working hours. Considering the ethical guidelines in ensuring the workers’ safety to improve the outcome, the organizations consider its employees’ contribution and importance. Such motivate their employees to help the organization achieve medical safety and improve overall population health.
Ganesan, S., Magee, M., Stone, J. E., Mulhall, M. D., Collins, A., Howard, M. E., Lockley, S. W., Rajaratnam, S. M. W., & Sletten, T. L. (2019). The impact of shift work on sleep, alertness, and performance in healthcare workers. Scientific Reports, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-40914-x
Kelly, P., & Porr, C. (2018). Ethical nursing care versus cost containment: considerations to enhance RN practice. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(1).
Milliken, A. (2018). Ethical Awareness: What it is and why it matters. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(1), 2–2. https://doi.org/10.3912/OJIN.Vol23No01Man01
Watanabe, M., & Yamauchi, K. (2018). The effect of quality of overtime work on nurses’ mental health and work engagement. Journal of Nursing Management, 26(6), 679–688.
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