The QSEN competencies were developed in a bid to equip the health practitioners with adequate skills to provide adequate care to their patients. Safety and quality improvement in the health sector has been the most wanting issue in current times. The six competencies aimed at changing the mindsets of the care providers from self-centered approach to collaborative approach in providing health services (cited in Sherwood & Zomorodi, 2013).
In the above psychiatric hospital scenarios, it is evident that the QSEN competencies were grossly ignored. The first competency involved providing patient-centered care. This involves personal attention to the patient through establishing clear communication mechanism. Through patient centered care, the patient is involved making his or her own decisions about their health care. In the case of a patient with mental disorder and lack sound reasoning capacity, the healthcare providers ought to have used family-centered care. This would have enabled practitioner to gather more and relevant information about the patient. In the above scenarios the practitioners seem to rely on written data only (Sherwood & Zomorodi, 2013, p. 17).
Sherwood & Zomorodi (2013, p. 17) indicates that teamwork and collaboration is the second core competence. This competence requires health practitioners to work together in achieving the needs of their patients. It was highlighted that communication failure between practitioners was the main cause of errors. In the above scenarios, there seems to be lack of teamwork and collaboration among the care providers. This is leads to difficulties in obtaining pertinent health information about the patient from various hospital divisions such as the pharmacy, billing department and the lab. Effective information sharing among practitioners from these departments would probably reduce the negative outcome of the patient. Evidence based practice is another core competence of QSEN. It enables the health practitioners to know the standards involved with their respective care units. Nurses may diverge from the set standards in order to honor the preferences of the patient after determining the evidence to support their actions. From the first scenario described above, it is observed that the hospital lacks enough evidence to deliver specific mental health care to various classes of patients. The practitioners seem to have little certainty on the outcome of their actions due to lack of necessary information. Quality improvement is also one of the QSEN competences. This competence involves raising the quality of service delivery by health care providers through benchmarking. Gaps between actual service quality and expected quality are consequently established. It is evident from the scenarios above that the psychiatric hospital is not quality oriented. Lack of defined parameters signifies low quality operations prompting to negative patient outcome (Sherwood & Zomorodi, 2013, p. 20).
Safety is a key QSEN competence that is demanded from every health practitioner in order to minimize risks that may be prone to patients as well as service providers. This competence requires the clinicians to gather all the necessary information regarding adverse issues. Safety of the patient is compromised in the above scenarios where the care providers lack sufficient information for proper diagnosis. The health officer may prescribe a wrongful diagnosis and administering wrong care leading to negative patient outcome and compromising the safety of the patient. The final QSEN competency is informatics. Informatics enables the health practitioners to use technology in knowledge management and in enhancing decision making. It also facilitates communication as well as mitigation of error. Limited informatics seems to be the main cause of problems in the above scenarios. Lack of proper data storage and retrieval systems compromised the quality of care given to psychiatric patients (cited in Sherwood & Zomorodi, 2013).
Importance to Integrate the QSEN Competencies in Nursing
Safety of patients is one of the key aims of health care providers. The QSEN competencies need to be perfectly integrated with the current healthcare operations to ensure maximum patient safety. QSEN ensures elimination of safety barriers in nursing facilities. QSEN aims at providing nurses with skills that will enable them to improve safety standards in their service delivery. QSEN focuses on improving patient safety through improvement of the overall nursing system other than individual development. Integration of the six competencies in nursing would ensure development in the quality of care given hence improving overall patient safety (Flood, Nanci, & Terry, 2010, p. 102).
The competencies developed by QSEN are vital to the nursing education. QSEN has fully structured the main areas which all practitioners should be conversant for high quality services. Integration of QSEN in nursing education would enable the nursing students to learn on effective service delivery and how to achieve positive patient outcome. It also facilitates in closing the gap between nursing education and field nursing practice in achievement of outcome (McKeon et al, 2009, p. 711). QSEN competencies are involved in changing the traditional nursing culture through changing the mindset of current practitioners. The nursing practice has had significant improvement in the quality of service delivered by the health practitioners. QSEN motivates practicing nurses to deliver services in total respect to quality and safety. QSEN have also improved the nature of nursing research. It’s only through nursing research that some of the vital problems facing service delivery have been identified (cited in Flood, Nanci, & Terry, 2010).
Quality of healthcare services as well the safety of such services seems to be the most wanting factors in nursing today. Nursing practice is challenged by many factors which influence the outcome of the patients. The six competencies developed by QSEN aims at mitigating some of these factors in a bid to offer admirable nursing services (cited in Sherwood & Zomorodi, 2013).