The initial RCA analysis emphasized organizational failure as the primary root cause of the clinical mistake that led to the patient’s demise (presented in Appendix A). The misinterpretation of code statuses (DNR instead of the Full Code) and the lack of systematic transparency at the workplace are unacceptable organizational flaws that should be corrected. For this reason, the current paper applies the principles of Best Practice to the examined problem and suggests a plan of corrective action.
Healthcare Best Practices as Response to Organizational Failure
Improving the quality of working conditions, patient safety, organizational transparency, and management strategies is the primary objective of healthcare organizations. The concept of Best Practice concerns relevant and evidence-based practices that can strengthen the system of the healthcare facility. Ham-Baloyi et al. (2020) identify effective leadership, reinforcing structures, alignment of objectives with stakeholders, and improvement plans as the best practices in healthcare management. Moreover, the authors suggest that it is essential to cover resources, activities, outputs, and impact in the corrective action plan (Ham-Baloyi et al., 2020). Ultimately, the current paper proposes healthcare data integration as the suggested intervention to the organizational failure that led to the patient’s demise.
Healthcare Data Integration
The primary root cause of the problem – organizational failure – consists of several contributing factors, such as poor management, inadequate code system, lack of supporting structures, and ineffective supervision. Healthcare data integration is a practical solution since it directly improves all problematic areas of the healthcare facility. In general, healthcare data integration refers to the “process of connecting various data/data points from different sources into one unified set” (Singh 2020, par. 3). In turn, it implies better information security and accessibility, which is crucial in the current case.
One of the reasons for the occurred tragedy is the inadequate code regulation and the necessity of additional actions to acquire the data about the patients’ codes. Improved data integration would allow establishing the system in which the nurse would be able to receive the patient’s medical history and code status immediately in the rehab unit. This approach eliminates the necessity to send the LNA to check the patient’s code, allowing for essential time to perform CPR and save the patient’s life. Furthermore, data integration would make the whole work process more transparent since the managers would be able to respond to occurred problems faster and identify their causes (Wang et al., 2018). Ultimately, healthcare data integration is an effective solution to organizational failure in the examined scenario.
Evidence for Healthcare Data Integration
Consequently, it is essential to analyze the existing evidence for data integration benefits before developing the implementation plan. Wang et al. (2018) emphasize the improvement of patterns of care and decision support capability as the benefits of healthcare data integration. The authors conducted a content analysis of twenty-six data integration implementation plans, specifically highlighting the managerial and IT infrastructure benefits (Wang et al., 2018). Moreover, the authors established a direct link between data integration and the following sub-dimensions (Wang et al., 2018, p. 7):
- Increased flexibility of infrastructure;
- Cost reduction;
- Quality improvement;
- Improved decision-making;
- Better resource management.
The proposed benefits are essential to the facility’s organizational structure, addressing the existing managerial problems. Improved flexibility of infrastructure would allow the operating nurses to access information about code statuses quicker, which would help them make informed decisions about CPR. Moreover, the transition to Big Data analytics would create managerial opportunities to optimize the shifts (Wang et al., 2018). This approach further stimulates effective leadership and would allow for transparent communication among employees. In the current case, it is significant because the misunderstanding between the supervision nurse and the LNA resulted in the tragedy. Therefore, improved IT infrastructure and optimization of effective communication could have prevented the patient’s death, and healthcare data integration offers both options.
Lastly, the current paper proposes a hypothetical implementation plan for healthcare data integration in the workplace. Despite the benefits of the approach, the facility would have to invest in innovative technologies, which might vary depending on the hospital’s size and financial capabilities. Furthermore, the facility requires competent personnel who would be responsible for data integration implementation and management. At present, there is an extensive number of data integration tools, some of which are affordable even for small hospitals. For instance, Oracle Data, Dell Boomi, and Informatica are popular choices that are effective in securing the data and improving the accessibility of information (Chaubey, 2021). Ultimately, the implementation plan of data integration in the facility has the following structure:
- Identify the existing IT infrastructure. First, it is necessary to conduct a thorough analysis of the facility and identify the outdated systems and work processes. Considering the contributing factors of RCA, it is safe to assume that information technologies in rehab units should be evaluated and substituted to achieve a higher response of code statuses.
- Identify the most optimal choice of data integration tools. Consequently, it is essential to identify the objectives and financial capabilities of the facility to choose the most optimal data integration tool (Chaubey, 2021). However, the selected instrument should cover the digital interface of the whole facility and improve information accessibility to mitigate the existing problems.
- Assign or hire a competent IT specialist. Although many data integration applications have user-friendly interfaces, data management of the whole facility is a complicated task that requires a competent specialist.
- Implementation. Consequently, the assigned IT specialist needs to integrate the selected application into the facility’s databases and establish a functional system.
- Training sessions. The next step would be to train nurses and managers regarding information infrastructure. Modern technologies make it easy for most people to learn the new work process; however, some employees might favor the traditional approach and reject any innovative methods. In such cases, it is essential to convey the message that data integration is helpful in all areas of work and might even save the patient’s life.
- Feedback analysis. Lastly, it is necessary to gather feedback data about the effectiveness of the implemented system. It primarily concerns the working conditions, employee satisfaction, quality of customer services, and the rate of medical errors. The current paper assumes that if all steps of the plan are implemented correctly, the mentioned factors would demonstrate a drastic improvement.
The current paper has proposed healthcare data integration as the Best Practice response to the occurred tragedy at the workspace. Extensive academic research proves the effectiveness of data integration, emphasizing such benefits as improved IT infrastructure, managerial decision-making, and planning. These advantages would help mitigate the root causes of the problem, primarily focusing on the organizational failure of code statuses and information retrieval. Ultimately, data integration in healthcare is an effective corrective action for organizational failure in the workplace.
Chaubey, M. (2021). Top 10 data integration tools to use in 2022. Streams Solutions.
Ham-Baloyi, W. T., Minnie, K., & Walt, C. (2020). Improving healthcare: A guide to roll-out best practices. National Library of Medicine: National Center for Biotechnology Information, 20(3), 1487-1495.
Singh, A. A. (2020). Data integration in the healthcare industry: How iPaaS is revolutionizing the healthcare sector. Appseconnect.
Wang, Y., Kung, L. A., & Byrd, T. A. (2018). Big data analytics: Understanding its capabilities and potential benefits for healthcare organizations. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 126, 3-13.