Posted on April 07, 2016

The important role nurses play in implementing quality improvement initiatives has been highlighted as an outcome of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) recently announced simultaneous accreditation of all its hospitals by the Joint Commission International (JCI).

“Nursing is part of safe and effective patient care in any modern healthcare system. As part of the multidisciplinary healthcare team, nurses contribute to quality improvement in numerous ways. For example, the evidence shows that nursing education and the number of nurses in the care setting plays a crucial role in reducing errors and improving patient outcomes,” said Professor Ann-Marie Cannaby, Chief Nursing Officer for HMC.

As part of HMC’s commitment to providing patient-centered care, the Nursing and Midwifery Department is actively involved in quality improvement initiatives focused on continually measuring and improving patient outcomes. Nursing-sensitive indicators is the international term used to reflect elements of patient care that are directly affected by the quality or quantity of nursing care; they include metrics such as hospital acquired infections, patient falls and pressure ulcer rates.

HMC also looks at the rates for these measures across the world by using the National Database of Nursing Sensitive Indicators (NDNQI), which was originally developed by the American Nursing Association (ANA), to monitor and benchmark nursing-sensitive indicators against some of the world’s leading healthcare organizations, like the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Mayo Clinic. 

“Continuous quality improvement requires the reliable use of an ever expanding number of evidence-based interventions. Nursing-sensitive indicators encompass the structure, process, and outcomes of nursing care and are one form of assessment that nurses at HMC use to measure our care. We recently conducted a system-wide review of our nursing and midwifery sensitive indicators, contrasting the 2014 and 2015 figures, and the data demonstrates a notable improvement in nursing care and patient outcomes,” added Professor Cannaby.

“Our nursing workforce places patient safety first and foremost in their performance every day. In collaboration with other health professionals, nurses develop and implement clinical evidence-based practice guidelines, champion infection control projects and improve care standards across our hospitals. They provide continuity of care and evidence-based interventions in the right way, and at the right time. This data represents a commitment to quality healthcare outcomes,” said Professor Cannaby.

Evidence shows that education is an important component of a high quality nursing service. Earlier this year HMC’s Department of Nursing and Midwifery Education and Research earned re-accreditation, with distinction, as a provider for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) from the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC). ANCC accreditation distinguishes organizations that demonstrate quality and excellence in the design and delivery of continuing nursing education. The prestigious re-accreditation places HMC among an elite class of healthcare organizations and underscores the importance placed on supporting clinical staff through providing high-quality professional development opportunities.

"We are committed to providing high-quality continuing education programs and ANCC accreditation shows HMC’s investment to developing well-trained clinical staff prepared to practice at the highest standards. The ANCC award, the recent JCI accreditation and our improved nursing-sensitive indicators are all elements the evidence indicates are required to provide high quality patient care,” added Professor Cannaby.