Balancing Productivity and Quality Patient Care


The purpose of this examination is to identify challenges balancing productivity and quality patient care as it stands from a supervisory position. Today’s supervisors must not only focus on their staff and patients, but also on the organizational business aspects such as increasing productivity and quality patient care. Supervisors are getting sandwiched between balancing productivity and quality care. In this somewhat daunting quandary the supervisors must strive to find ways to accomplish both missions. As I will propose this will require communication changes in organizational health care systems and a paradigm shift in current ideologies in the health care industry.

Let’s start off in my own backyard so to speak, my organization is a Nursing and Rehabilitation hospital. The Mission statement is, “Come Here, Get Well, and Go Home”. This is a 213 bed facility. There are approximately 135 employees throughout the organization working on any given day. The organization specializes in sub-acute care, long-term care and has a rehabilitation unit. Also the organization has physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy components to support patient’s recovery. All of these people in organization eventually may have some contact with a new patient at different times in the recovery process.

It is obvious from a macro-perspective it would be difficult to realize any improvements in productivity or patient care without solid supervisory skills and knowledge. Nursing is my focus and professional occupation in which I will narrow the field to nursing for this examination.

As a nursing supervisor one has to continually be knowledgeable to accomplish both goals of productivity and quality patient care. Their responsibilities include planning, organizing and overseeing staff. Nurse supervisors provided leadership two staffs under their charge. The nurse supervisor implements and interprets organizational policies and procedures maintaining nursing standards and regulations. They also continually evaluate patient care and ensuring their satisfaction. A nursing supervisor skills also include budgeting, prioritizing duties and delegating responsibilities.

Some of the obstacles that impede the ability of nursing supervisors out of their control is rising healthcare expenditures have motivated spending reforms such as Medicare’s payment system. While such initiatives aim to limit wasteful healthcare expenses, they may inadvertently result in lower-quality care: providers may face an incentive to reduce the quality of their treatments to minimize costs and increase patient loads. (McDevitt, 2013)

Unfortunately this is not the only pressure in which health care organizations have to do more with less. Supplies, operating costs, state and national legislation has placed a huge strain on the healthcare system at large.

In the past nursing productivity has been the defined as the ratio of patient care per hour, per patient to salary and benefit costs paid out to staff by the organization. (Kohr, 2012) In the current economy this does not take into consideration the level of expertise in which nurses must process information to accomplish the goals of increased productivity and patient care. After all of that is said:

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