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The unit set out a plan to improve patient satisfaction on the unit with specific strategies and interventions over two years. Within the last two years, staff received training and education about pain management, data analysis of pain assessment and management, pain medication effectiveness, patient teaching, and evaluating staffs’ attitudes (Walden University, n.d.b.). The data over time showed an upward shift, trending upward, and data runs after the median (Walden University, n.d.a.). In looking at the run chart, it does objectively show the strategies and interventions were successful as satisfaction scores improved above the baseline since February 2015 (Walden University, n.d.a.). Perla et al. (2011) indicate that run charts are an easy tool to interpret data objectively and evaluate improvement plans’ outcomes.
Furthermore, the quality assurance improvement plan was multilayer and took time to introduce. It was crucial to educate the staff on why there is a need for patient satisfaction improvement. Education and training to the staff and patients added another dimension to the importance of patient care and satisfaction. During the interventions, data were analyzed by the QI team, which allowed for the development of strategies for quality improvement (Walden University, n.d.b.). In the first half of the implementation process, it included training and education about pain and demographics of the typical patient seen on the unit (Walden University, n.d.b.). I believe this was an essential piece for the implementation strategies to be effective. Staff needs to know the whys and whats of the end goal.
CNO and the nurse manager know that in the last two years, they improved patient satisfaction scores for pain management on the unit. In particular, the Fade model has been used to increase customer satisfaction with a clear focus of the problem, analyze the data, develop a solution, implement a plan, look objectively at the data results, and adjust accordingly (Spath, 2013). Management and the CNO can adapt the plan to exceed the national benchmark within the next year or next quarter. To do that, they would have to objectively look at the data and determine another solution to implement to get their patient satisfaction scores even higher. The run chart from 5/1/2015 to 5/1/2016 consistently shown 80% and above and within the last five months in 2016 have trended above 90% (Walden University, n.d.a.).
In reviewing the run chart, objectively, the unit raised their patient satisfaction scores from 70% to high 90% over two years (Walden University, n.d.a.). The nurse’s unit decision to celebrate, I believe, was warranted as they had made significant improvement. There is a need to look at the data periodically to ensure patient satisfaction scores continue to meet or exceed the set expectation. A few ways to do this would be to make sure new employee orientation includes education and training about the importance of pain management in the elderly. Current staff will need to continue to receive training throughout the year to improve upon the importance of pain management.
To improve a trend, the organization needs to be aware of their goals, analyze the data, and adjust its plan as required. Another important aspect is working together as a team. For a team to work effectively and efficiently, there is a need to understand the goals and tasks of the unit, team contribution, listen to one another, conflict resolution, majority rule decision making, and utilization of effective communication skills (Yoder-Wise, 2019). The QI team improved the quality indicator for patient satisfaction because it came together to make it happen. It would be necessary for the organization to recognize this and the employees who made it happen.
Analyzing the data provided in this week scenario, strategies went from training staff on pain management and assessment, education on importance of patient satisfaction scores and posting of data for nursing staff to be informed in progress, as well as nursing meetings with the QI team to discuss strategies and EMR data.
According to the data offered the strategies have been effective, as evidenced by improvement in the medication effectiveness documentation on the month of July, 2015, 100% attendance to meetings by staff as reported on October of 2015, and improvement on pain assessment as shown on January of 2016. What I noticed is that the data is reported in a two year period, which seems a very long period to see an improvement of 25% on patient satisfaction scores with pain management (Walden University, n.d.a). I think not only medication pain management should be taught, there are alternative treatments for pain like for example hot and cold therapy, music therapy, relaxation techniques, and distraction. Utilizing these strategies to complement medication, may help increase satisfaction.
If the unit staff continues their efforts, the nurse manager and CNO can count on the unit success. The run chart shows that the unit consistently meet or exceeded national benchmark after June of 2015 (Walden University, n.d.b). The trend started going up after the team meeting on May of 2015, the team started using the rapid cycle improvement model with iterative PDSA (Walden University, n.d.a). The rapid cycle improvement projects incorporate several small changes and the result of those changes assessment to obtain an improvement goal. With this method several improvement cycles are set (usually less than six weeks), and data is collected and analyzed. After this analysis, changes can be made to continue improvement (Spath, 2013). I think the nursing staff should be able to celebrate, since the have consistently been at or above national average. With the continuation of the efforts on part of the staff, and the use of the rapid cycle improvement model, leadership should be able to see a consistent improvement on patient satisfaction with pain management scores for next year.