You are a family nurse practitioner working in an outpatient primary care office of a large hospital system. The practice has been operating for over 15 years, and many of the administrative and clinical staff were hired when the practice opened. You have been in the practice for less than 3 months. In that short amount of time, you have witnessed several of the clinical staff engaging in heated arguments with each other, sometimes in patient areas. You overhear an argument occurring today between two staff. You pick up a patient’s chart and notice a very low blood pressure that the medical assistant failed to notify you about. When you confront the MA, she states that she was going to report the vital signs to you when she became engaged in the heated argument you overheard and forgot to notify you.
Unfortunately, this pattern of behavior is not unusual in this practice. Working with staff who cannot cooperate effectively can negatively influence your ability to spend time with patients, can impede the flow of patients through the office, and could impact patient safety.
Case Study Responses:
Analyze the case study for potential issues for members of the healthcare team from office conflict. Contrast the potential effects for each member of the healthcare team based upon the required readings from the week. Discuss the potential ethical and legal implications for each of the following practice members:
What strategies would you implement to prevent further episodes of potentially dangerous patient outcomes?
What leadership qualities would you apply to effect positive change in the practice? Focus on the culture of the practice.
A scholarly resource must be used for EACH discussion question each week.
Expert Solution Preview
Introduction: In this case study, a family nurse practitioner working in an outpatient primary care office of a large hospital system has observed several clinical staff members engaging in heated arguments, potentially impacting patient safety. The NP also discovers a medical assistant failed to notify them of a patient’s low blood pressure due to being distracted by a prior argument. This paper will analyze the case for potential issues for the healthcare team, discuss potential ethical and legal implications for each practice member, strategies to prevent further episodes of dangerous patient outcomes, and leadership qualities to implement positive change.
1. Analyze the case study for potential issues for the healthcare team from office conflict.
The potential issues for the healthcare team from office conflict include decreased communication and collaboration resulting in lower quality patient care, decreased job satisfaction and increased stress for the members, increased risk of medical errors, and ultimately jeopardizing patient safety.
2. Contrast the potential effects for each member of the healthcare team based on the required readings from the week. Discuss the potential ethical and legal implications for each of the following practice members: Medical assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Medical Director, and Practice.
Medical Assistant – The medical assistant’s failure to report vital signs can lead to ethical and legal implications, as failing to report vital signs is considered to be malpractice. Also, not following the standard protocols may lead to legal charges. The medical assistant’s attitude towards their work, which includes distractions from a heated conflict with colleagues, may jeopardize patient safety.
Nurse Practitioner – Nurse Practitioner can face ethical implications. They are responsible for the safety of the patient, so failure to fulfill their duties may result in malpractice charges. They need to ensure that their team members are working efficiently and precisely. Neglecting to report vital signs due to distractions from conflicts can result in legal complications.
Medical Director – The Medical Director can encounter ethical issues as they bear the responsibility of ensuring that their team works together efficiently. Failing to implement steps to correct the conflict within the team can result in ethical and legal complications.
Practice – The Practice can face severe legal implications if any patient safety incidents were to occur due to team conflicts resulted in neglect of their responsibilities.
3. What strategies would you implement to prevent further episodes of potentially dangerous patient outcomes?
The following strategies can be employed:
● The implementation of effective conflict resolution training.
● Encouraging leadership dedication towards teamwork, collaboration, and continuous improvement.
● Developing ethical and professional standards, including protocols for reporting vital signs.
● Encouraging an open-door policy to enhance cooperative communication between staff members.
4. What leadership qualities would you apply to effect positive change in the practice? Focus on the culture of the practice.
Nurse Practitioner and Medical Director can employ the following leadership qualities to effect positive changes in the practice:
● Encourage team-building activities to encourage trust and collaboration among team members.
● Foster a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, appreciating and recognizing new ideas to enhance patient care.
● Emphasize accountability and responsibility, ensuring that all personnel understand the importance of patient safety.
● Communicate clearly and frequently, maintain open channels of communication to avoid misunderstandings, encourage the reporting of vital signs, and avoid conflicts.
● Encourage professional development, skill, and knowledge enhancement through allowing learning opportunities for team members.
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