Report cards showing how well nurses are looking after patients are soon going to be displayed outside hospital wards across Scotland. These performance charts will include information about staffing levels, revealing whether patients feel the staff have enough time to care for them.
The idea behind the scheme is that patients would be asked their views on the care they are receiving in hospitals, through an electronic system in order to make it as easy as possible. The results would then be displayed outside hospital wards for all to see. Recent research has found that these cards could very well have a positive effect on patients’ overall health and wellbeing.
The main intention behind launching these cards is to allow easy comparisons between hospital-to-hospital and ward-to-ward. The benefits of such a system include offering transparency as well as providing information about staffing levels and revealing details about whether patients are satisfied with the care offered.
Research further found that the majority of staff have often said they are too busy to provide optimum levels of care and with staff shortages in nursing over the recent years, the process would be in place to find what exactly is the problem and might be able to offer solutions. If implemented effectively, the data collected will go a long way in helping evaluate staff and will make sure that they are allocated accordingly, in order to avoid any shortages.
There is some concern that these cards could potentially increase the workload for nurses, as compiling a report will be another daily task added to their already busy schedules. Another potential risk is that staff that is already working hard might get demoralised by seeing a report card that might criticise them and the care they offer. But one of the important principles of the system is that the data will essentially be used for improvement rather than passing any judgment and so the staff will not have anything to worry about.
If the system is successful in achieving its goals, it is something the UAE may look to incorporate in its hospitals as it has the potential to encourage change where it is needed, and can help in highlighting areas where care is falling short or whether there is a shortage of staff. Ultimately it could help management in making well-informed decisions about staff levels across the hospital.
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