Nurses are responsible for providing patients with adequate care, empowering them, and supporting their rights. According to the American Hospital Association (AHA) (2003), hospitalized individuals expect high-quality hospital services, clean and safe space, involvement in care, financial assistance, and privacy protection. Moreover, the AHA (2003) claims that unasked and unanswered questions may lead to hospitalization-induced stress. Thus, the nursing strategies based on education on medical procedures and participation in treatment allow the patient to understand the doctor’s approach and control the actions of the healthcare team (Laureate Education, 2009). Decision-making opportunities and patient-nurse partnerships may help to achieve positive health outcomes, as the knowledge of the diagnosis and the choice of treatment/medication decrease the risk of medical errors. The nurse should respond to any concerns and describe the risks and benefits associated with a particular treatment or side effects of medication. The patient should be informed on the financial consequences and the long-term impact of the treatment on the quality of life to choose medically appropriate and affordable options. In certain cases, such as mental health issues, alternative treatments might be viewed as efficient supplements to the traditional pharmacological or psychological methods.
The National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) was created with the American Nurses Association (ANA) and allowed the nursing professionals to adapt nurse-sensitive components to fit their practice (Laureate Education, 2009). Nurse-sensitive outcomes can be assessed and measured to promote quality care and express nursing professionals’ value (Montalvo, 2007). The NDNQI data from dashboards might be used to support nurse empowerment, as its quarterly scores and benchmarks demonstrate how good a person is at the nursing discipline or profession. The dashboards can be used by frontline staff, management, and policymakers to monitor the performance and focus on priorities (Brown et al., 2008). The NDNQI promotes accountability for the nursing practice and serves as a mechanism allowing the nurse to analyze the interventions, review his/her actions, and compare the results to the national benchmarks from participating facilities. The database contains research-based quality improvement data that can be utilized to explore the links between specific actions and outcomes, so it enables the nurse to advance the quality of care and patient safety. The key indicators also offer support and directions, as they empower nurses to develop appropriate action plans for the future and participate in the decision-making and leadership.
The employment of quality improvement data assisted my healthcare facility in nursing empowerment in a number of ways. Firstly, the nurses obtained the authority to advocate for vulnerable populations by reporting their actions to the quality improvement registry to share the experience with those working with low-income patients and ethnic minorities. Secondly, the institution encouraged autonomy in the decision-making regarding patient education and treatment options based on the dashboard performance data. According to Cole et al. (2014), autonomy is one of the ethical principles essential for advocacy and the promotion of patients’ best interests. Finally, the performance indicators show the effectiveness of patient-centered interventions, so the nurses are given the opportunity to empower others. Patient engagement might result in better outcomes in terms of recovery and satisfaction (Guglielmi et al., 2014). I have personally empowered a patient with thromboembolism by providing the choice of treatment options and alternative methods. I presented each option with the description of risks and benefits so that the patient could make an informed decision. Eventually, he selected fondaparinux instead of LMWH due to his history of heparin intolerance. The approach ensured better adherence to the treatment and the client’s satisfaction with the personalized approach.
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Brown, D. S., Aydin, C. E., & Donaldson, N. (2008). Quartile dashboards: Translating large data sets into performance improvement properties. Journal of Healthcare Quality, 30(6), 18–30. Web.
Cole, C., Wellard, S., & Mummery, J. (2014). Problematising autonomy and advocacy in nursing. Nursing Ethics, 21(5), 576–582. Web.
Guglielmi, C. L., Stratton, M., Healy, G. B., Shapiro, D., Duffy, W. J., Dean, B. L., & Groah, L. K. (2014). The growing role of patient engagement: Relationship-based care in a changing health care system. AORN, 99(4), 517–528. Web.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2009). Topics in clinical nursing: Accountability and nursing practice. Author.
Montalvo, I. (2007). The national database of nursing quality indicators. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 12(3). Web.