Change is critical in healthcare settings since it informs efforts to improve the quality of care provided to patients. One of the areas of focus in the clinical environment is the implementation of patient-centered care. The model of care retains the important role of the nurse and other care providers and places the patient at significant position in the continuum of care. Quality care outcomes depend on the level of collaboration and interprofessional teamwork to understand patients’ need better and to adopt effective interventions when treating and managing health challenges. However, in some cases, healthcare professionals fail to cooperate effectively, affecting the success of patient-centered care due to a lack of proper collaboration and communication. Besides the challenges involved in the implementation of patient-centered care, master’s prepared nurses are competent enough to use effective change management frameworks to implement the model of care in their settings.
Essential Elements for a Master’s Prepared Nurse Leader to be an Effective Change Agent
Nurse leaders have an important role as change agents. They work directly with patients to ensure that they receive safe and quality care. They understand the aspects of care that are working and those that remain ineffective as well as the effects on patient outcomes. Therefore, nurses should advocate for the needs of their patients by appreciating possible limitations in the care process (Drennan, 2012). Although nurses support the implementation of patient-centered care, they sometimes have challenges coordinating care to achieve the desired goals. Master’s prepared nurses are trained and equipped adequately with the necessary skills to initiate change in their clinical settings. They have adequate theoretical and practical experience to deliver quality care in a collaborative environment. In addition, competent nurses recognize various elements of care and use it to ensure positive organizational and patient outcomes.
Background Information of a Healthcare Delivery Situation
Master’s prepared nurse leader can lead change in medical-surgical setup to prevent unnecessary re-admissions through the implementation of patient-centered care. The settings experience increase re-admissions from various causes such as infections from surgical procedures. Nurses can work with the patients and other care providers to improve care for these patients and ensure that prevent relapse as much as possible. Under the patient-centered model, nurses work with patients through the healing process, attending clinical appointments, and working with physicians, caregivers, and family to ensure improved outcomes.
The Change Model Relevant to the Selected Healthcare Delivery Situation
Change implementation models develop out of the need to ensure that the entire transformation process is flawless by following a particular direction. Lippitt’s model of change is the most appropriate in the clinical situation involving the role of master’s prepared nurses. The model has four elements to enable designing and implementation of the change process in nursing (Mitchell, 2013). The beginning phase in the change process is determining the need and urgency for the change as well as the source of the transformation (Mitchell, 2013). The element includes effective assessment and evaluation of the situation. The nurse leader should ensure that the context for the change is understood to come up with a relevant plan of action.
The second phase involves collaboration where the master’s prepared nurse works closely with the patient, interdisciplinary team, and the patient’s family to understanding the needs and concerns involved in the care process. Collaboration is a critical aspect of patient-centered and interprofessional working teams. The third stage is implementing patient-centered care processes (Mitchell, 2013). The initiative involves the actual adoption of the interdisciplinary model in providing care to improve outcomes. The process includes various healthcare professionals and care providers working in the surgical settings. The final stage is evaluating the change to determine whether the objectives have been achieved. The nurse leader should ensure that the change process proceeds as required. Evaluation involves collection of data to determine the objectives of the change that are met and the areas requiring additional efforts and resources. The information is critical for further decision-making about the change process.
The Proposed Plan for Change
The nurse leader should create an effective plan of action to improve patient care through implementation of the patient-centered model. The nurse leader will involve other care providers in the setting to support the change process. Many proposed changes fail due to resistance when the leader fails to engage them and take into account their opinions in the process. The beginning step in the plan is to inform the administration of the hospital about the proposed change to gain support and acquire necessary resources. The other important process is to engage other nurses in the transformation, including implementation of necessary education and training to understand and drive its adoption (Bender, Connelly, & brown, 2013). For example, the nurse leader should design an education session to inform the nurses about the importance of patient-centered care in preventing unwarranted re-admissions in surgical settings. The plan should include acquisition of necessary resources to support the change and evaluate its effectiveness.
Strategies to Initiate Change and Improve Outcomes
Master’s prepared nurses have adequate training on the various strategies available to implement change in healthcare settings. Education, communication, and collaboration are some of the strategies necessary to implement the change to patient-centered care to prevent re-admissions in surgical settings. Education is essential for the success of inter-disciplinary team and for patients to understand their role in the continuum of care. The nurse leader should share all the necessary information with other care providers, especially about patients and their families to take responsibility for patient outcome. Communication is an essential strategy for successful sharing of information among the stakeholders in the care process. The nurse leader should spearhead collaboration between the various professionals in the care process. Consistency in the adoption of the patient-centered care model is possible where communication and collaboration are effective (Bender, Connelly, & brown, 2013). Master’s prepared nurses develop these essential skills through training that support their role as change agents.
Change is necessary in healthcare settings to improve the quality of care and promote patient safety. Since changes are not always easy to implement, it is essential to have the competence and skills necessary to ensure success. Master’s prepared nurses have the required training to support the adoption of patient-centered care model to improve patient outcomes. Master’s prepared nurse leaders understand the most suitable models for change initiatives. They also develop necessary course of action and use relevant strategies to improve collaboration in the change process. They have the critical knowledge to enable them to work effectively with other healthcare providers in their care settings. Research shows that such nurses are highly effective in leading change and improving their work settings. In essence, they enhance care and support positive patient and organizational settings.