Nursing and Accountability in Health Care

Accountability is important in any field not just the health care profession. Accountability demands that each person does their job to completion and with professionalism. This results in excellent performance and client satisfaction, in this case, the patients. Accountability in health care requires that as a nurse, one ensures that the patient has been given the right medicine, the wounds have been correctly cleaned and dressed, the immobile patients have been cleaned and many other care requirements have been met for patients. As a nurse, it is my duty to ensure that the patients under my care do not contract health-care related infections caused by wrong dressing of wounds and infection mismanagement like being given the wrong medication due to inappropriate diagnosis. 

The levels of professionalism also matter a lot in accountability. It has been reported severally that health care workers acting out of overconfidence always make medical errors (Pronovost, 2010). A health care worker acting like this is very unlikely to take correction kindly especially from a nurse if it is a doctor. This already endangers the patient. Accountability cannot function with an attitude like this one. A health care worker has to always know that anything can go wrong and vigilance rather than arrogance will save life. This is what accountability is. When a health care worker is ready to respond to the health needs of the patient with an open mind as opposed to a preconditioned thought that they cannot go wrong in making their diagnosis. Following my above observation on the causes of errors in the health care procedures, I will ensure that I listen to what the patient is saying. I will then strive to always apply my skills in health care to the best of my knowledge and at the same time keep an open mind to ensure that the patient is receiving the care they deserve.

The accountability care organization is an organization formed around the care of a patient. It is a network of health care workers with different specializations (Gold, 2011). The organization is not only accessible by patients who have signed up for care by the organization. The organization is designed with the aim of having patients receive timely care progressively and professionally. This organization is especially good for the patients with terminal illness and need a lot of delicate health care services. This organization is designed to avoid errors being made when handling patients’ health and at the same time keeping records to avoid medical procedures from being repeated unnecessarily. This organization takes health workers who voluntarily choose to join the team. They work together to ensure that patients who have and will be under their care are treated to the best of their ability. The organization includes hospital members so that the health care workers who have joined the organization have a place to practice their accountable health care services. After-care services are also available by the organization.

The challenges facing the health care practice are many. There are always new health conditions coming in to the emergency and general admission rooms, the shortage of funding and staffing has continuously been a challenges. The accountability problem has also been there for as long as the medical profession has existed. The challenges of accountability are a big problem at the moment because people have more information and patients demand for accountability as well unlike in the past when the patients had little access to information on health matters. The accountability challenge is also an issue that the medical health care workers will have to deal with or find a way to handle. The advancement of illnesses and the fast communication platforms available make it even more necessary for the health care workers to take accountability more seriously. Despite being understaffed, the health care workers have to at least make sure that diagnosis errors are reduced so that they reduce the pressure on the systems when they have to reverse medication and start on the correct treatment. Sometimes reversing medication does not work and lives are lost. It is also necessary to ensure that the health care related infections are reduced in order for the deaths resulting from this are reduced further.

The role of the health care worker will have to change from being arrogant and overconfident to being professional and keen. Being overconfident can make a health care worker miss an important symptom and end up making a misdiagnosis while being confident enough would allow them to make correct diagnosis. The health care worker now has to ensure that the safety of the patient is the primary goal of health care. A patient does not expect to contract an infection while in the hospital because they expect the health care workers will take good care of them (Steelman & Battie, 2014). Therefore, a health care worker has to be in a position to explain their actions to anybody who questions them because they acted in the best interests of the patient. The health care worker has to ensure that critical thinking is applicable at all times. It is also important for nurses especially to ensure that they take care of patients during the entire admission period. 

The role of the health care worker will no longer be about giving medicine to patients but the right medicine. It changes from just giving health care to giving proper health acre. The use of technology will have to be incorporated to ensure that the health care workers can keep track of patient progress to avoid overlooking some services that the patient needs.

The health care workers will also have to invest more time and study into medical research programs for the new conditions being reported every day. The medical profession has to be extra vigilant to capture new bacteria and viruses that attack people. This will ensure that the health care workers always have a way of controlling, managing and curing as many conditions as possible. The health care profession will have to be something people take up because they have a passion for it and not a profession taken up for money. The dedication required for a health worker cannot be learned. It has to come from the inside. It is important, therefore, that the health care workers take part in finding ways of dealing with new emergency cases as well as regular conditions with precision and accountability. The health care workers under the accountability care organization will have to ensure that beyond offering health care services, accountability is key in as far as funding and patient safety is concerned. The patients are assured of better health care by the health care when these challenges have been addressed.

References

Gold, J. (2011, January 18). Accountable Care Organizations. Retrieved from Kaiser Health News: www.npr.org/2011/04/01/132937232/accountable-care-organizations-explained

Pronovost, P. (2010, July 13). Bringing True Accountability to Health Care: Lessons from Efforts to Reduce Hospital-Acquired Infections. The Journal of American Medical Association.

Steelman, V. M., & Battie, R. (2014). Accountability in Nursing Practice: Why it is Important for Patient Safety. AORN.

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