Outcomes define the end results of nursing interventions and are indicators of problem resolution or progress toward the problem or symptom resolution. (ANA) The ICNP® defines a nursing outcome as the measure or status of a nursing diagnosis at points in time after the nursing intervention. (ICNP 2001)
There are several indicators used by health care providers in measuring patient outcomes. This paper would only discuss two (2) indicators: (1) functional status and (2) patient satisfaction with care.
A patient undergoes a functional assessment to determine his/her abilities to perform activities of daily living. Functional status is assessed in terms of the ability to feed, dress, toilet, move, transfer, and ambulate self independently or with some degree of required assistance. This is usually done upon admission, during confinement, and before discharge from the hospital or healthcare institution. The quality of care provided is measured by the difference or improvement in functional abilities upon admission and before discharge.
Measuring Quality 4
Patient satisfaction with care is measured using customer satisfaction surveys or questionnaires which gauge the ability of healthcare providers to satisfy the needs of the patients. Areas for improvement could be identified using the questionnaires. Immediate courses of action should be instituted to improve on the weaknesses and to commend quality care.
ROLE OF HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IN QUALITY CARE
The role of healthcare providers in quality care can never be overemphasized. “As stewards of patient care, nurses maintain a unique role in identifying and guiding the intervention processes central to quality care”. (Gantz, et.al. 2003) Their personal approach to their patients makes them the front liners inpatient care.
To enable healthcare providers to ensure that the provision for quality care is being delivered, there should be a continuous quality improvement approach to the health care system. This approach examines the structures and process of the system rather than individual performance. This would enable a constructive and objective analysis of the quality process and enable the institution of corrective measures to ensure the delivery of quality care.