Quality improvement is crucial for an outpatient operating room due to the relatively short yet critical time a person spends there. The work of medical personnel, especially nurses, should be thus monitored and optimized to manage the complexity of medical care provided in such facilities. Standards, training and additional instructions implementation often constitute a quality improvement (QI) study (Davis et al., 2019). When considering any research, it is also crucial to estimate the economic impacts of proposed measures and potential risks associated with the quality of medical service. A practical QI study is further analyzed to identify the fundamental principles of quality improvement programs in ambulatory surgery centers.
One of the problems an outpatient operating room face is a need to cancel surgeries on the day of operations. The study by Hostetler (2020) focuses on identifying the cause of the situation. As determined, the reason for this usually lies in patients’ misunderstanding of fasting guidelines before anesthesia. It is an important point that is aimed at preventing pulmonary aspiration, which has fatal consequences when it occurs. Hence, when a person fails to comply with the requirement, their ambulatory operation has to be postponed, and thus the whole schedule of the center should be reconsidered to find a new time for the emerging appointment.
Obviously, cancellations of appointments negatively affect the ambulatory center operation and all the parties involved – families, nurses, surgeons, and the patients themselves. This problem causes additional stress, emotional breakdowns, or even worsening symptoms. For the facilities, frequent occurrence of such cancellations results in disruption of work schedule, loss of revenues, and inconvenience and extra work for medical personnel (Hostetler, 2020). Therefore, the further quality improvement project should address the issue of communication between medical personnel and a patient regarding the dietary limitations and consequences associated with ignoring those guidelines.
The role of nurses in quality improvement is thus vital. It is highly important to ensure that patients receive all the information necessary for successful surgery on the scheduled day. Nurses should be able to effectively present the reasons for following particular requirements and inform patients and their families that a failure to comply with the guidelines might result in the cancellation of surgery. For this purpose, nurses can also clarify with the patient on the eve of the operation whether he managed to comply with all requirements.
In addition, to combat any misunderstandings or ambiguities in medical facilities, there should be standards that guide doctors, nurses, and patients and ensure smooth comprehensive communication. Moreover, based on the adopted standards, conditions are created for examining the volume of medical care, assessing its quality for patients (with a specific disease, syndrome, or in a specific clinical situation), and planning measures to improve the structural efficiency of outpatient clinics (Davis et al., 2019). When resolving controversial and conflicting issues, medical and economic standards for outpatient surgery are used to protect the rights of the patient and medical workers, as well as the business reputation of outpatient clinics.
Overall, quality improvement should be performed in ambulatory centers to avoid a number of problems. This particular paper addresses the issue of a high surgery cancellation rate that was managed in a QI study. The key principle was to identify the reasons for the situation. The study revealed that the cause of the cancelations in most cases were patients who did not comply with fasting instructions. To manage this issue, a set of communication standards can be implemented that would help nurses and other medical staff better elaborate the consequences of not following the dietary guidelines.
Davis, K. K., Mahishi, V., Singal, R., Urman, R. D., Miller, M. A., Cooke, M., & Berry, W. R. (2019). Quality improvement in ambulatory surgery centers: A major national effort aimed at reducing infections and other surgical complications. Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, 11(1), 7–14. Web.
Hostetler, L. M. (2020). Reducing Same-Day surgical delay & cancellation occurrences: A quality improvement project in an outpatient surgery center. Clarion University of Pennsylvania and Edinboro University. Web.