Inside the program: Improving operations, improving quality

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, July 19, 2010

If you try to improve your department’s operations without a deep understanding of its quality, you are likely to make the situation worse and introduce error and failure. You’ll be tinkering with a process you don’t fully comprehend.

And if you merely study your department’s quality without a focus on continuous improvement, you are likely to find that your customers and even your staff will become frustrated. Quality and productivity may actually decline, and your professional development and excitement may wane (a condition known as analysis paralysis).

The answer is to look for new ideas from outside the walls of your department, to bring improvement and stimulation to your team, and to ensure that your customers receive the service they deserve. Your customers may not know whether they are receiving the best possible care and service. This is common in healthcare, because a patient rarely can evaluate the technical aspects of care or know what to expect or demand. So, it is our ethical obligation to evaluate the quality of our care and service for all of our customers, hold ourselves to a high standard, and continuously improve on their behalf.

Source: Quality Improvement for Nurse Managers

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