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BL9412 Public Health

Published : 19-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10

Question:

Produce an essay to answer the following question ‘Is using guidelines and protocols the best way of preventing unacceptable care?’ .

Write an essay presenting a balanced argument. In this question you will be expected to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of using guidelines and protocols to ensure good quality care. You will then need to consider their role in preventing unacceptable care. Your primary source will be Learning Guide 15 and its resources, but you will also need to consult Learning Guide 13 in order to explain what is meant by unacceptable care. As you prepare your essay, tease out the advantages and disadvantages of using guidelines and protocols. Consider the other approaches to preventing unacceptable care and refer to these when considering the advantages and disadvantages of guidelines and protocols.

At the end of your essay, you need to weigh up these advantages and disadvantages to reach a conclusion. For example, you might decide that using guidelines and protocols has more advantages than disadvantages and therefore it is the best way to prevent unacceptable care. You could, of course, decide that this approach has so many disadvantages that it isn’t particularly effective and that another approach(es) would be more effective. Or you could decide that using guidelines and protocols are an essential part of preventing unacceptable care, but is not enough by itself . Your conclusion is up to you but it should be based on the points you have made earlier in the essay.

Answer: 

Protocol and guidelines are needed in every area of people’s lives and especially the health sector. Protocol and guidelines are fundamental tools in improving the quality of health care provision and in the delivery of consistent approaches for best practices. Of utmost importance, guidelines and protocols direct or sets out methods or procedures of what is expected to be done in a given situation. Through policies and bodies assigned to be responsible for the health of individuals, protocols and guidelines are designed to standardize some aspects of care for the purpose of improving care outcomes and make care safer.  Protocols and guidelines provide a clear and well understood intervention.  They should, therefore, be used in providing instructions for drug prescriptions dispensing and administrations.

The purpose of the protocols and guidelines is to promote legislative and regulatory requirements, outline the roles and responsibility of every employee, standardize the delivery of services and practices to all seeking health solutions enhance monitoring and evaluation and act as an educative tool. Unacceptable care is descried as actions taken towards patients or clients that are detrimental to effective and efficient quality care, and the care is in violation of policies, law, and standards that are set to deliver the acceptable care. The paper, therefore, discusses guidelines and protocol in the health sector, their advantage and disadvantages and how they ensure that acceptable care is given to all patients.

Protocols and guidelines offer a variety of advantages. They ensure that as a patient and a care giver are both safe and given the best care and practice. When guidelines are outlined, and an institution sticks to the guidelines and protocols, patients receive the best care since the guidelines outline acceptable behavior that should be given to patients. According to HSE ethical standards and code of conducts allows health care professionals to work in a collaborative relationship which supports health care and workplace environment that improves patient quality care (Abidi, 2009). Consequently, this does not offer any room for unacceptable behavior or violation of the patients’ needs and values. In the case of any need arising, health practitioners seek clarifications and recommendation from the protocols. Secondly, protocols provide a framework of multifaceted, specialized sequence of activities. Every department in the healthcare sector has broad areas of services and care that is needed. For instance, there are a clinical field, counselling departments, children department casualties among others. Protocols and guidelines are essential in outlining what is expected in every department as procedures may differ from one area to another. They ensure that needs in each of this area are well managed. Each area being complex and broad, guidelines play a very crucial in outlining the activities to be undertaken using the minimal time to attend to the patients (Oeyen, 2007). Also, provision of an improved autonomy with the aim of shaping future work. Adopting protocols in the healthcare institutions allows standardization of policies that strengthen professional activities and knowledge of one's duties and responsibilities. It also ensures that such responsibilities as training staffs are often done, assessment, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of the training. Thus the health practitioners’ gain increased autonomy in their work which enhances sustainable and improved practices in their work.

Moreover, they ensure that legislative and regulatory requirements are met. With the world where everybody works for selfish gains, individuals in the health sector are tempted to practice unacceptable behaviors like provision of unauthorized medicines for the purpose of making a profit. Therefore protocols ensure that any standardized and formulary medicines are released in the market. They ensure that information as outlined in policies and guidelines are followed legally. According to the World Health Organization, every health care institution has the required standardized guideline with clearly outlined bylaws and regulations to the care providers, health care officials, patients, and supply management personnel. Without the provision of the regulation, guidelines, and protocols, unacceptable behaviors are bound to happen (World Health Organization. (2013). Therefore it should be a law for every institution to have the guidelines and regulations to prevent the occurrence of this unacceptable practices. The government is also a stakeholder and ensure that employees should comply with all regulations and standards to curb the rising negative practices towards citizens.

Also, protocols and guidelines are a key tool used in educating and informing the stakeholders. The rise of unacceptable behavior in the workplace occur as a result of lack of information or ignorance among the workers. Also if employees upon joining any workplace are not oriented with the guidelines and regulations, they are likely to neglect acceptable behavior or act irresponsibly without their concept. It is therefore of great importance to provide the employees with information on the organization’s protocol and guidelines for them to act accordingly. Providing information to the workers promote evidence based research and outcomes. Guidelines and protocols give the workers a sense of ownership and a safer way during their work. They provide them with a structure in which they can work through, and it evidently gives them an automatic sense of offering the acceptable acre to thee patients. Frequent training informs and educates the less experienced workers which minimize the occurrence of misbehavior or unethical code of conduct (Newell, & Burnard, 2010). Lastly, protocols and guidelines act as a basis for audit and evaluation. The set out protocols and guidelines are what outlines the goals and objectives that are to be achieved. Therefore checking in line with this guidelines helps in checking how far the rules are implemented or practiced. They also allow practitioners to rectify any problem encountered or what to an ad in case of needs arising. Through monitoring and evaluation, best practices are undertaken for the accomplishment of purposes needed and delivery of services that gives human dignity and respect.

On the other hand following protocols and guidelines may create a disadvantage to the health and the social sector. Protocols provide a limited flexibility to the health practitioners (Newell, & Burnard, 2010).  The number of cases that are provided in the health sector varies from time to time. Thus following the written protocols and guideline offer unlimited and unspecialized care to an individual. Also, most of the unexperienced employees may feel less confident it offering care to such individuals who at last end up being unattended or may increase the mortality rates in the healthcare sector. There is no single best guidelines or protocol for the very case, and this hinders creative thinking and lack of applying professional judgement and freedom in places of work. Therefore protocol and guidelines can be viewed as negative.  Also, guidelines are likely to give a false sense of security which promote the continuity of unacceptable care in the work places. It limits the process of evaluation of a particular patient as long as the set standard guidelines and protocols fit a particular standard of treatment. Most institutions hold the incomplete or inaccurate form of protocols and guidelines. Therefore, wrong information and care are provided to patients who do more harm to them. Most of the information on the guidelines is not reliable, and it gives room for the practice of the unacceptable behavior. With this guidelines are therefore seen as a hindrance to offering acceptable care and professional care to individuals (Mantzana, Themistocleous, Irani, & Morabito, 2007). It is also a challenge to institutions to develop and updates guidelines. It consumes a lot of time especially when the number of stakeholders involved in decision making is high. Updating it is also required as needs always arise. The purpose of protocols and guidelines is to improve the quality of care given which rather than providing this care, increased protocols limit this care since they give a strict procedure that should be followed.

Guidelines and protocols are more likely to be standardized. This means that the likelihood of specialized protocol for different situations are minimal and in my opinion, what is the best could not be the best in a special individual’s situation (Newell, & Burnard, 2010). An individual may deny what is thought or described to be the best, for instance, older persons deny the opportunity of being taken to home based care for thee old and opt to be taken care y their children in their original hommes. Protocols and guidelines demotivate the care givers, and they fell they do not have the freedom to make their decision or become flexible. Problems that often occur and are not outlined end up being unattended and as such thee service givers feel less empowered to act on their toes.

In my opinion, protocols and guidelines are essential tools that should be implemented in every health sector. I believe that as outlined above, the y offer a wider range of opportunities and advantages to health practitioners and care givers. They also promote a high degree of acceptable behaviors by outlining regulations that should be followed. Protocols ensure that best practices are given to patients and allow care givers to act accordingly as it is the human nature to act against nature, but if rules and guidelines are set then actions are taken towards achieving goals. In spite of the increased advantage, protocols have a few setbacks which I believe being flexible would reduce or tackle this challenges. Therefore all practitioners should work toward using the protocols, but professional judgement should also be applied in every situation, but it should work in giving a dignified care.

Reference:

Abidi, S. R., & Abidi, S. S. R. (2009, July). Towards the merging of multiple clinical protocols and guidelines via ontology-driven modeling. In Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine in Europe (pp. 81-85). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Flottorp, S. A., Oxman, A. D., Krause, J., Musila, N. R., Wensing, M., Godycki-Cwirko, M., ... & Eccles, M. P. (2013). A checklist for identifying determinants of practice: a systematic review and synthesis of frameworks and taxonomies of factors that prevent or enable improvements in healthcare professional practice. Implementation Science, 8(1), 35.

Grol, R., Wensing, M., Eccles, M., & Davis, D. (Eds.). (2013). Improving patient care: the implementation of change in health care. John Wiley & Sons.

Hunter, B., & Segrott, J. (2008). Re-mapping client journeys and professional identities: A review of the literature on clinical pathways. International journal of nursing studies, 45(4), 608-625.

Mantzana, V., Themistocleous, M., Irani, Z., & Morabito, V. (2007). Identifying healthcare actors involved in the adoption of information systems. European Journal of Information Systems, 16(1), 91-102.

Newell, R., & Burnard, P. (2010). Research for evidence-based practice in healthcare. John Wiley & Sons.

Nichols, P., Copeland, T., Craib, I. A., Hopkins, P., & Bruce, D. G. (2008). Learning from error: identifying contributory causes of medication errors in an Australian hospital. Medical Journal of Australia, 188(5), 276.

Oeyen, S. (2007). About protocols and guidelines: It's time to work in harmony!. Critical care medicine, 35(1), 292-293.

 Timmermans, S., & Berg, M. (2010). The gold standard: The challenge of evidence-based medicine and standardization in health care. Temple University Press.

Verdaasdonk, E. G. G., Stassen, L. P. S., Widhiasmara, P. P., & Dankelman, J. (2009). Requirements for the design and implementation of checklists for surgical processes. Surgical endoscopy, 23(4), 715-726.

World Health Organization. (2013). Responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women: WHO clinical and policy guidelines. World Health Organization.

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