Flexibility illustrates various positive outcomes for the patient and medical system. The advent of an illness such as COVID-19 has posited the necessity for institutions to adapt to deadly diseases rapidly. Government policies requiring individuals to isolate themselves if they found themselves with the illness’s symptoms also showcased the new potential for medical procedures (WHO, 2020). Nurses and the elderly face a high risk of contracting COVID-19, showcasing how flexibility can reduce this problem. Traditional nursing practice requires patients to physically avail themselves to receive medication and advice concerning their ailments. However, telemedicine, a practice involving telecommunication devices to provide these services, has been adopted in some medical institutions (Florida Board of Nurses, 2020). It eliminates the potential for patients such as the elderly to gain illnesses because of contact with other individuals. Nurses and other medical personnel also benefit from telemedicine as they do not have frequent physical contact with individuals and items that are potentially carrying pathogens. This shows that flexibility promotes patient safety.
Flexibility also helps patients and the system by reducing costs and enhancing the quality of care. Telemedicine is easily administered through smartphones or computers, allowing patients to communicate frequently with medical practitioners. These remote means of health provision also reduce the number of patients in a healthcare facility, alleviating personnel fatigue (WHO, 2020). Medical institutions also save money that would be used in traditional hospitalized care, enabling them to provide more services to patients. Personnel can also consult with one another easily through telecommunication devices to provide the best information to a patient concerning their disease (Florida Board of Nurses, 2020). The person would also incur fewer costs as they would not procure necessities such as a bed in the hospital. This issue is also helpful to the elderly as they do not have the income to cater to these costs and rely on government social services.
Additionally, medical institutions should implement a change management strategy to provide a reliable source of benchmark data for their provisions. It is prudent to ask medical personnel to record various issues, such as patient satisfaction, measured by reduced complaints, and using their facilities when ill to gauge efficacy (Foley, 2022). The institutions should also assess optimality in nurse turnover rate due to exposure to risky environments and fatigue. After implementing telemedicine, medical institutions with a favorable system would also evidence higher revenues and increased service provisions (WHO, 2020). Analyzing previous data and comparing it to new information derived from customers helps determine if the implemented changes have the desired effect.
Department heads are responsible for propagating this strategy and should enforce it in their areas, enabling the medical institution to gather data effectively. Doctors and nurses should provide an accurate depiction of their work regularly to aid the institution in monitoring telemedicine’s effectiveness (Foley, 2022). The workers should also hold weekly meetings to assess the efficacy of a certain provision, eliminating any problem that arises in the system. These issues should be judged primarily on their effect on the patient’s health, personnel health, and institutional revenues. Constant monitoring of these changes and determining their helpfulness in propagating high-quality care would work as the best benchmark (Foley, 2022). The institution would reduce errors in patient care, boost employee morale, and develop new ways to help patients. An internal benchmark works best for medical institutions as an external comparison would result in erroneous assessments as they have varying medical staff and a differing working environment.
Florida Board of Nurses. (2020). Florida Board of Nursing Approves 60-day Extension Emergency Amendments to Rule 217.24 relating to Telemedicine Medical Prescriptions-7/6/20. Covid-19. Web.
Foley, A. (2022). 4 types of benchmarking in Healthcare (& the benefits of each). ClearPoint Strategy.
WHO. (2020). Implementing telemedicine services during COVID-19: guiding principles and considerations for a stepwise approach. World Health Organization, 1–25.