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DQ: Review of Current Healthcare Issues Essay

NURS 6053 Discussion Review of Current Healthcare Issues Essay

DQ: Review of Current Healthcare Issues Essay

Staffing Shortages as a National Health are Issue/Stressor

Staffing shortages in the health care industry has become a significant issue and stressor all over the nation. Nurses work extremely hard and that is not a secret. With imminent staffing shortages in the health care profession and an increase in the volume of patients seeking care services, patient loads are increasing rapidly, thus making it difficult for nurses already short staff to manage all patient care needs effectively and efficiently (Bakhamis et al.,2019). The United States has a massive nursing shortage, and the problem is only set to grow. Due to an influx of patients into our health system, the retirement of baby boomers, and educational bottlenecks, nursing positions are not being filled fast enough to keep up with demand (Xue et al., 2016). Nurses overworked and understaffed on the front lines. There are millions of registered and licensed practical nurses in the United States. Most of these nurses, however, are not happy and comfortable in their work, they are stress, overworked, underappreciated, and underutilized leading to significant impact on the delivery of care.

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     Staffing shortages can have a significant impact on the quality of work, on productivity, creativity, competitiveness, nursing care

DQ Review of Current Healthcare Issues Essay
DQ Review of Current Healthcare Issues Essay

outcomes, and on ensuring patients’ safety (Norful et al., 2018). At my health care organization due to staffing shortage, nurses sometimes work long hours because other nurses calling in sick, running one to four hours late from working under very stressful conditions resulting in burnout, injury, fatigue, and job dissatisfaction. Nurses suffering in my health care facility delay treatments and make other mistakes due to the relationship of the nurse-to-patient ratio (Xue et al., 2016). An unfortunate outcome is that patient quality of care suffers, resulting in a variety of complications including emergency room overcrowding and delay of treatment.

Organizational Response and Changes Implemented

    A range of solutions has been offered as a way to solve the nursing shortage in my health care organization from subsidized funding, hiring new nurses, wage increases, and contracting with nursing agencies for nurses to fill in periodically. My health care organization provides tuition for nurses seeking to advance their degree. In addition, resources have been allocated towards increasing wages which has affected recruitment as well as retention of Registered Nurses already in the facility.

DQ: Review of Current Healthcare Issues EssayAnother important strategy to further address the nursing shortage is that, nurses are allowed scheduling flexibility and coverage. This has help nurses to juggle their busy work schedule with home life and educational opportunities, and also allows room for decompressing between stressful, emotionally demanding shifts and days of work.

Health care of the nation, and patients, in particular will benefit the most from adequate staffing and a healthy and well rested nurse because efficiency and productivity will increase, the number of work-related mistakes at the same time will reduce, sick leaves are going to be rare, shorter, and burnout will not occur often (Norful et al., 2018). By introducing said strategies, we would not only increase staffing in health care but equally, reduce the stress-related illness rate among nurses and would also significantly raise the quality of healthcare and patient outcomes.

Global healthcare systems are facing unprecedented times and uncertain future based on the current situation of Covid-19 pandemic. This has prompted quick adoption of technology in healthcare systems from booking of appointments to billing. Therefore, I believe one of the major current healthcare issues is on technology disruption. Much questions have been raised on the big data usage, incorporation of telehealth, synchronization of the national health data systems and on the confidentiality and security of the patient’s health records as cases of cybersecurity have soared with increased adoption of information technology in healthcare (Sittig et al., 2018).

Big data in healthcare systems refers to the accumulation of large sets of digital information about the patients’ biodata, medical history, clinical interventions, current and past medical concerns of the patients. This data is accumulated overtime rather than that which is received in small amounts and not stored for future references (Thew, 2016). This prompts the healthcare nurse informatics to employ the use of data analytics and data mining tools so that they can extract meaningful patterns, study the correlation and develop predictions (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018). Use big data has proved to be essential in healthcare management especially when analyzed and used to inform critical decision-making points and even guide future evidence-based change projects (Byrd et al, 2018).  This information is used by managers and administrators to identify patterns and areas of strength and weakness within the system and help plan in resource allocation.

However, big data faces one of the greatest security challenges especially on the confidentiality of the patient’s information. Cases of cyber insecurity have been rising since most healthcare facilities and organizations adopted use of technology to manage the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. The patient’s confidential data may be easily accessed if the systems security checks are not well enforced. In some of the online platforms like Amazon, for online shopping, the systems put in adequate security checks and user authentication and verification steps. The breech of patient’s confidential medical information could have adverse effects on the healthcare facility or organization hence incur a lot of expenses in terms of compensation and in the end the reputation of the organization will also be severely damaged.

Therefore, it is imperative for healthcare organizations and systems that procure any digital platform for managing healthcare records to invest heavily on ensuring the system is safe and secure from cyber security threats and phishing on patient’s data (Bibhuranjan, 2019). Moreover, there is need to improve the software technology to develop systems that are less susceptible to hacking. It is also essential to ensure that patients are well educated on ways of safely using the digital platforms and there should be readily accessible customer care agent to help patient’s carry out proper verification and maintain safety of their data.

Increased usage of digital platforms and information technology poses another safety threat to the patients as they are likely to seek for medical advice from online blogs and unverified media sources that could be misleading to the patients. This information collected on such blogs has no scientifically proven or evidence-based data to support the claims or the medical advice offered. Moreover, the information could be provided by individuals who have no professional training in the areas that they are providing the medical information. There has been rapid increase in blogs from unregistered dietician and fitness coaches whose methods are not scientifically viable to rely on as professional medical procedures. Many patients have fallen prey to such misleading information that even sometimes discourages the use of conventional medication and clinical intervention measures (Young, 2016).

In conclusion, it is imperative for the federal and state government to come up with strict measures, laws and policies that govern the use of information technology in healthcare. The guidelines should be clear and the regulations must be standardized to enhance security of the patients’ data and also safeguard them from unverified and unethical practices and information availed to them on social media platforms. Any digital platforms or media engaging in medical or clinical information must have passed the licensure criteria that would be guided by strict conformity to the ethical issues in healthcare and meets the set standards.

References

Bibhuranjan. (2019). Big data analytics – How beneficial is it for healthcare? Technofaq. https://technofaq.org/posts/2019/05/big-data-analytics-how-beneficial-is-it-for-healthcare/#:~:text=%20Big%20Data%20Analytics-%20Benefits%20in%20the%20Healthcare,is%20very%20important%20for%20any%20organization…%20More

Byrd, T.A., Kung, L., & Wang, Y. (2018). Big data analytics: Understanding its capabilities and potential benefits for healthcare organizations. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 126(1), 3-13. doi:10. 1016/j.techfore.2015.12.019

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Sittig, D. F., Wright, A., Coiera, E., Magrabi, F., Ratwani, R., Bates, D. W., & Singh, H. (2018). Current challenges in health information technology–related patient safety. Health Informatics Journal, 26(1), 146045821881489. https://doi.org/10.1177/1460458218814893

Thew, J. (2016). Big data means big potential, changes for nurse execs. HealthLeaders. https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/nursing/big-data-means-big-potential-challenges-nurse-execs

Young, A. (2016). The pros and cons of big data in the healthcare industry. HealthCareZone. https://www.healthtechzone.com/topics/healthcare/articles/2016/11/18/427248-pros-cons-big-data-the-healthcare-industry.htm