Quality Assurance: The Importance of Self-Assessment in a Hospital Setting In a hospital, where patient care is of top priority and employees are essential to patient care, it is vital to do everything possible to improve or maintain high standards of quality. Patients place high amounts of trust in hospitals during times of extreme need, and they rightfully expect to receive the quality care they deserve. Patients should not have to worry about mistakes, accidents, injuries and so forth, but rather should be assured that they are in good hands.
Quality assurance is something that every hospital should strive for, and it involves the process of detecting problems, recognizing the cause of those problems, establishing a method to eliminate those problems and executing the agreed-upon method of improvement. (Lerner, 2002). There are many external organizations that have been implemented to monitor the safety procedures and overall quality of the care provided in hospitals. Leaving mistakes to be noticed by external organizations, however, can lead to many negative consequences, such as excessive fines and harmful publicity.
In addition to these unnecessary consequences, external organizations may not be able to catch certain problems and risks in time to prevent an injury or death. Injuries and deaths are not only undesirable for patients and patients’ loved ones, but if preventable these can cause costly lawsuits for hospitals. (Lerner, 2002). For these reasons, self-assessment and internal controls are central keys to successfully managing hospitals. Self-assessment is extremely relevant to providing quality care, risk reduction, accident prevention, and maintenance of safe working conditions. It is crucial to note the significance of self-assessment not only in protecting patients but in protecting employees as well.
As stated previously, employees are essential to patient care. Safeguarding employees can only help to further safeguard patients, so it is certainly an important aspect of hospital management. A human resources department is an example of an internal rather than external organization that works to maintain the safety and overall satisfaction of employees. Human resources departments are often responsible for choosing qualified candidates for employment, effectively training new employees, making employees aware of critical safety procedures, and giving praise for good quality work.
Human resources departments are essentially capable of ensuring that each employee will use self-assessment at all times while working in hospitals. (Bartram & Fraser, 2005). All of the steps that are taken to improve the efficiency of employees also help to improve the overall quality of care that patients receive. It is clear that quality assurance is a crucial element of hospital management. Actively seeking improvement is sure to keep both patients and employees healthy and happy, and it critically reduces the chances of things like injuries, fines and lawsuits from happening.
Self-assessment and internal controls are very important to the realm of quality assurance. Self-assessment is a very useful tool that should be used as often as possible by as many hospitals as possible in order for success to be achieved. Sources Cited Bartram, T. & Fraser, B. (2005). “Strategic choice and human resource management in a public hospital setting: a case study of a Victorian public health service. ” Employment Relations Record.
Retrieved online on May 11, 2008, from http: //findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m5AZS/is_1_5/ai_n25121346/pg_7. Lerner, S. (2002). “Medical-Legal Issues in Quality Assurance. ” ‘Lectric Law Library. Retrieved online on May 11, 2008, from http: //www. lectlaw. com/med/med24.htm.