Specialist for epidemiological and cardiac nursing – Silesian Centre for Heart Diseases in Zabrze
The quality of medical services means meeting or surpassing the expectations of the patient, the compliance with standards and the degree of realising the benchmarks. According to H. Lenartowicz high-quality health care is one that corresponds to certain criteria, indicating compliance with current professional knowledge and that which, under given circumstances, enables the patients to achieve desired health results. The quality of offered medical services is very important because it concerns the priceless value of life and health of the people making use it.
Although the quality is in fact the satisfaction with well performed medical services, for each party – the performer and the recipient of the service – it means something else.
- For the patient, the quality of medical services depends on the efficient recovery or health improvement after leaving the hospital.
- For employee of the health care facility, the quality is understood as the compatibility of this service with current professional knowledge and achieving health improvement without adverse events.
- For the management of the facility, the quality is to provide services at a sufficiently high level with a correspondingly lower cost.
Any medical procedure performed in a patient comprises several steps:
- preparation of a set,
- performing medical actions,
- disposal of the set, waste management,
- documenting the procedure,
- preparing equipment and reusable instruments for reuse.
Each of these steps requires effort, resources and time. Performing the procedure under various conditions, especially in rapid situations and in emergency rooms, is at high risk of error, which can undoubtedly affect the quality of the procedure, and therefore the quality of the overall medical service.
All of the above steps can be improved by ready-for-use sets adjusted for different procedures and medical treatments. The preparation of a „traditional” set includes the completion of an appropriate amount of equipment, instruments, medicines, and dressing material needed to perform the procedure. However, a ready-for-use set saves the preparation time, especially if the particular procedure is performed urgently. The nurse does not have to wonder how much items to prepare and what exactly is needed. The set guarantees the completeness of the materials needed to carry out the procedure in terms of their quality and quantity.
The content of the final set forces to perform the procedure in one correct way without omitting certain activities. An example would be the optimum number of six gauze tampons included in the set for bladder catheterisation, which demands to devote enough time to disinfect the area surrounding the urethral meatus, if all the tampons are used. The outer package in form of a rigid blister, often with a few chambers, may serve as a container for liquids or waste material, eliminating the need for additional vessels.
The ready-for-use allow to perform a procedure, opening only one sterile package, which greatly reduces the amount of waste, e.g. many external packaging of: sterile swabs, instruments, gloves, syringes, etc. The sets are completed optimally for a given procedure, which means that any such intervention is carried out using the same amount of equipment and dressing material. In practice, when we complete a set ourselves, there is often a tendency to open more packaging of e.g. dressing material than needed (swabs, cotton balls), just in case, in order not to run out.
The procedure performed using a ready-for-use set quickly becomes standardised, enables to easily monitor the consumption of materials, and thus counting the cost.
It is very easy to clean after the procedure. Everything that has been used is one medical waste. In view of the fact that everything in the set is disposable, the entire material is directed to the waste, without the need to segregate.
It is very simple and accurate to document the performed procedure due to the included self-adhesive labels.
The use of disposable instruments included in the set brings savings, resulting from the elimination of further re-sterilisation. The sterilisation process means additional costs: water, electricity, disinfecting agents, sterilisation packaging, , sterilisation tests, and human effort.
One of the major advantages of the sets is the elimination of adverse events, such as the prevention of infections. Returning to the quality of medical services, the implementation of a program to prevent hospital infections, and systemic efforts to prevent errors in medical procedures is very important to ensure high quality. Reducing the number of infections is an objective indicator of the quality of medical services, and any infection that occurred, and which could have been avoided, is a failure of the institution providing health services. The ready-for-use sets “tailored” to a specific procedure are a perfect tool to prevent such failures. The sets guarantee the sterility of equipment and materials used to perform the procedure. Therefore, the manufacturer takes the responsibility for their sterility, and thus for the quality of the medical device.
Undoubtedly, the application of the sets in practice improves work, gives satisfaction to medical staff, reduces costs, and leads to patient satisfaction. Moreover, better quality of medical care leads to the increased competitiveness of the medical facility in the market.
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