It is important to note that healthcare process improvement can be achieved through a multitude of measures. One of such approaches includes staff training and competency since the healthcare services are primarily delivered by medical professionals. Thus, increasing their competence through extensive training can prove to be highly effective in achieving the desired level of improvement in a healthcare organization. Although one should be aware that each health professional undergoes major educational and training hurdles to be even considered a qualified expert, the competency improvement goes beyond individual growth. Evidence strongly suggests that training aimed at improving staff competency in regard to teamwork can significantly influence improvement processes in healthcare (Rosen et al., 2018). It is stated that “the coordination and delivery of safe, high-quality care demand reliable teamwork and collaboration within, as well as across, organizational, disciplinary, technical, and cultural boundaries” (Rosen et al., 2018, p. 433). The cohesiveness of the healthcare staff can prove to be even more valuable than individual competence since key areas of incompetence and gap in knowledge can be quickly removed through mutual learning and acquisition of experience.
There are six main ways in which staff training and competency improvement can impact healthcare process improvement. Firstly, teamwork-focused training promotes effective teamwork behavior, which is essential in order to mitigate conflicts and miscommunications (Rosen et al., 2018). Secondly, multilevel outcomes can be enhanced since the notion is tightly correlated with teamwork. Thirdly, the given framework of staff training facilitates the development of the core individual competencies, such as attitudes, skills, and knowledge (Rosen et al., 2018). Fourthly, the influence can be manifested in the betterment of teamwork interventions, where several healthcare professionals’ involvement is required. Fifthly, team performance measurement strategies enable a greater degree of evaluative and monitoring accuracy of a healthcare organization’s performance as a whole. Sixthly, one should be aware of “the critical role context plays in shaping teamwork and collaboration in practice” (Rosen et al., 2018, p. 433). In other words, staff training with a precise focus on teamwork can result in drastic healthcare process improvements in multiple areas.
Another major way how staff training and competency improvement can impact healthcare process improvement can be found in training related to interprofessional collaboration. It is stated that “poor interprofessional collaboration (IPC) can adversely affect the delivery of health services and patient care” (Reeves et al., 2017, p. 1). Thus, it is reported that training “interventions that address IPC problems have the potential to improve professional practice and healthcare outcomes” (Reeves et al., 2017, p. 1). For example, when staff competency improves through multidisciplinary video conferencing or multidisciplinary audio conferencing, the treatment length can be reduced due to enhanced cohesiveness between different professionals of the medical staff (Reeves et al., 2017). The resulting outcome is manifested in better patient satisfaction, increased recovery, and shortened duration of the stay at a healthcare organization.
All of these mentioned healthcare processes are essential procedural elements of any medical facility. It is evident that staff training positively impacts patient safety as well since interprofessional communication contains fewer barriers due to extensive measures practiced and implemented as the result of such competency increases. Thus, it is vital for healthcare professionals as well as managers of healthcare organizations to be conscious when it comes to the efforts and investments put into improvement processes in healthcare.
Reeves, S., Pelone, F., Harrison, R., Goldman, J., & Zwarenstein, M. (2017). Interprofessional collaboration to improve professional practice and healthcare outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 1, 1-48. Web.
Rosen, M. A., DiazGranados, D., Dietz, A. S., Benishek, L. E., Thompson, D., Pronovost, P. J., & Weaver, S. J. (2018). Teamwork in healthcare: Key discoveries enabling safer, high-quality care. American Psychologist, 73(4), 433–450. Web.