Requirements for High Reliability
Reliability is a useful feature of health care organizations to enable them embrace a culture of patient safety that will see the patients through a high-quality care process. Organizations achieve a high reliability status in the service delivery market when they offset their large-scale risk for harm by promoting efficiency, effectiveness, and safety in their practices (Chassin & Loeb, 2013). I have had a substantial experience in preparing for a transition for our organization to become a highly reliable organization. Safety and quality initiatives have dominated this experience because the whole staff has a responsibility in safeguarding the interest of the patients in our upcoming highly reliable organization. Particularly, availability of highly trained staff and regular checks of the scheduling processes makes my current organization a highly reliable health care facility.
The organization recruits staff with high educational qualifications such as baccalaureates and doctoral levels as well as skills’ mixture. This selective recruitment strategy compounds a staff mix criteria whereby all the necessary personnel are present in the health care team to uphold a culture of patient safety. On the other hand, the organization has done well in terms of its scheduling processes because it has instituted regular system checks to eliminate any redundancies of the processes. For example, patients scheduled for surgery within the organization have specific identities, mark of their surgical sites, and time limit expectations to give room to the incoming patients. Even though risks for medical errors might arise during the surgery scheduling (Chassin & Loeb, 2013), the organization uses a questionnaire as one of the system checks to ensure that all the criteria for safety are met before the surgery.
Moreover, the staffing and scheduling aspects that the organization should improve for better reliability are employee rewarding and creation of high performing teams, respectively. Despite the high discipline among the staff members and their dedication to delivery of safe care, the employees would still need motivations from the management to cooperate in enhancing a safety culture. Additionally, the current stagnation of workflow within the organization leading to unmet schedules and appointments is attributable to uncooperative health care team members. Therefore, the first recommendation for the organization is the implement a transparent monetary and promotional numeration policy for the staff. The employees embracing safety standards should receive positive reinforcements such as salary increments and job promotions. On the other hand, rapid scheduling of procedures for patients leads to their satisfaction (Hines et al. 2008). Therefore, the organization can also improve its scheduling by creating high performing teams to enhance teamwork and collaboration to enable them complete all the procedures within set time schedules.
These recommendations rely on the standards for becoming a highly reliable organization that emphasize staff adequacy and quality, safety culture, and appropriateness of the processes within the schedules. High reliability in health care improves performance by managing the safety and quality efforts throughout the complex system (Pronovost et al. 2015). Overall, these standards improve quality of care because they focus on the prevention of medical errors within health care organizations. For example, highly trained and properly rewarded staff will take time in following all the set protocols to safeguard the health of the patients. In conclusion, high reliability is a new concept in health care and organizations can achieve reliability by training their staff, rewarding them properly, and establishing regular schedules.
1. Chassin, M. R., & Loeb, J. M. (2013). High‐reliability health care: getting there from here. The Milbank Quarterly, 91(3), 459-490. doi: 10.1111/1468-0009.12023.
2. Hines, S., Luna, K., Lofthus, J., Marquardt, M., & Stelmokas, D. (2008). Becoming a high reliability organization: operational advice for hospital leaders. AHRQ Publication, (08-0022).
3. Pronovost, P. J., Armstrong, C. M., Demski, R., Callender, T., Winner, L., Miller, M. R., & Reitz, J. A. (2015). Creating a high-reliability health care system: Improving performance on core processes of care at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Academic Medicine, 90(2), 165-172. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000610.