The health care sector evolves constantly and rapidly compared to other sectors. Due to this rapid and constant evolution, competition within the sector is also high. Therefore, it is essential for a care setting to develop and sustain a competitive advantage. Competitive advantage is the favorable position an institution strives for to provide services better than its rivals or be more profitable compared to its competitors. In order to get and obtain this advantage, an institution needs to show a more significant differential or comparative value than its rivals. Moreover, leaders need to recognize environmental demands to help minimize threats and weaknesses from the external environment, sustaining competitive advantage. Thus, this paper focuses on analyzing my care setting to find out whether what is being achieved is creating a positive impact.
Part 1: Appreciative Inquiry Discovery and Dream
David Cooperrider established the appreciative inquiry model to help organizations assess their positive developments. This model helps organizations to focus on their positive developments rather than their shortcomings. It shifts attention from the pessimistic problem-solving and shortfall thinking method usually applied by leaders in the healthcare industry to the optimistic and supportive approach (Rodgers, 2019). With appreciative inquiry, the assessment process focuses on positive stories in the healthcare institution. These positive stories result in the emergence of a sense of togetherness, pride, and creative genius. Moreover, these success stories help people to view the organization in a new way, and its endless opportunities become obvious. Therefore, they enable the organization’s future to be built on past successes rather than failures. In other words, the organization strives to do more work to make its future more prosperous.
Synthesis of Stories and Evidence on When a Care Setting Performed At Its Best
Synthesis of evidence and stories on when an organization achieved its best results concerning safety and quality goals happens during the discovery phase of the appreciative inquiry model. In our case, the stories were gathered through interviews after recognizing the relevant stakeholders to be cross-examined and establishing the questionnaire. Out of all the stories collected, two stories stood out for their positivity. One of the stories was from a registered nurse, and the other was from a nurse manager. The nurse manager recounted how she managed to make a doctor who had demeaned one of her unit caregivers apologize to the nurse. The doctor demeaned the nurse by telling him that he did not utilize his brain because he forgot to inform the physician about a patient’s declining exploratory laparoscopy. This incident took place in front of patients, including the patient in question. The nurse was offended, and he reported the incident to the nurse manager, who thought that the doctor’s utterances were inappropriate for the emotional safety of the workplace. Therefore, the nurse manager felt that it was necessary for her to do everything in her power to ensure that such an incident does not repeat itself in the future. She then talked to the doctor, explaining why what he did was wrong, and made him make a formal apology to the caregiver. On the other hand, the registered nurse described how she prevented a possibly explosive workplace ferocity situation involving a family member of a patient and a junior caregiver in her squad during a morning shift. The family member felt that her sick loved one was being ignored, and she voiced her anger to the junior caregiver. As the shift’s medical nurse leader, she managed to recognize the signs of the forthcoming physical ferocity and call her aside to appeal to her to calm down. She was excited that her education on conflict resolution gave her the ability to prevent a violent situation hence preserving safety within the workplace. After intervening, the family member felt satisfied, and the junior nurse felt valued, and therefore, both parties were happy.
These stories are associated with quality and safety in that the caregiver, stressed out by feeling demeaned, is likely to make mistakes. These mistakes may jeopardize patients’ safety and minimize the nurse’s quality of services as he cannot fully concentrate on his tasks. Moreover, a junior nurse who feels unwanted is also likely to make mistakes that may endanger patient safety and result in poor quality healthcare services. The evidence that validates these stories is located in the records on the precise dates of these two incidences in the events book. The positive themes mirrored in these stories are; healthcare workplace settings can be made favorable, and that transformational leadership is essential in nursing as it leads to the provision of quality and safe healthcare services. Furthermore, the other evidence that authenticates my care setup’s positive core is that annually in the institution, the best nurse manager and best caregiver are awarded handsomely. For instance, the registered nurse who prevented a violent situation from happening received the prize for the best caregiver generally that particular year. The reward of initiatives and efforts is good because it encourages other workers within the institution to replicate the good behavior.
Positive Attainable Safety and Quality Improvement Goals for a Care Setting
After the discovery stage, the next phase is the dream stage. This stage entails dreaming of what could be. In other words, the dream phase comprises reasoning the chances that could happen past the current thinking. The discovery phase generated two stories that depicted success in my care setting. If these two stories are inserted into the organization’s culture, they will significantly direct the imminent success of the institution. The dream proposals of favorable attainable safety and quality enhancement goals for my care setting are to empower and enable the caregivers to report any psychological or physical threats without any fear, constantly take on a consultative method when making any procedural transformations within the organization by seeking the views of the nurses, and appoint only nurse leaders who have exhibited excellent transformational leadership skills. Achieving these objectives will result in culturally and ethically sensitive enhancements in safety and quality within the setting. This is because caregivers who feel safe within the working environment will respect patients’ autonomy, promote beneficence, and not make mistakes that might endanger the safety of patients (Ludwig et al., 2021). Moreover, the caregivers will passionately provide culturally competent healthcare services to their patients. Additionally, the proposed goals will line up with the institution’s vision, values, and mission. The care setting’s mission is to deliver the best possible healthcare services, while the vision is to be the number one healthcare facility providing quality and safe healthcare services. The values consist of integrity, justice, fairness, and honesty. Possessing nurse leaders who practice transformational leadership and permitting nurses to be free in their workplaces promotes both justice and fairness.
Part 2: SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis refers to the assessment of an organization’s strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats. Often, weaknesses and strengths are internal to the institution, while threats and opportunities are external (Kabeyi, 2019). Thus, this part of the analysis will review the care setting’s internal weaknesses and strengths, the opportunities for it to develop, and the threats it faces from its external environment that might hinder its development. In this case, the analysis was carried out concerning safety and quality goals.
SWOT Analysis of a Care Setting Concerning Quality and Safety Goals
Strengths ensure that the institution exhibits exceptional organizational performance. The strengths of this care setting after collection and analysis of data are; the possession of dedicated, committed, and hardworking nursing staff, availability of an in-house upskilling program that enables staff members to enhance their proficiency, possession of the latest technological equipment that promotes an enhanced quality of care, taking on of healthcare informatics, staffing of a nurse informaticist, and the utilization of telehealth services to provide healthcare services to various patients in inaccessible areas. The opportunities recognized were the growing middle-class population around its vicinity, which is likely to be the catchment area of the care setting, a chance for social media marketing which will motivate the organization to enhance the quality of its healthcare services given the expected increase in patient numbers, and the swift developments in smartphone telephony which will make it easier for many patients to be contacted tenuously through their smartphones on the organization’s telehealth platform. Moreover, weaknesses in an institution reduce its quality of care and upsurge costs (Kabeyi, 2019). The weaknesses recognized in this healthcare setting were high staff turnover impacting the provision of safe and quality services, the large number of workers who need training, and the limited financial resources to enable the professional development of healthcare workers. These weaknesses significantly affect the institution’s ability to provide quality and safe healthcare services. On the other hand, threats often hinder the performance of an institution. The threats identified for this organization were increased competition from other new facilities, decreased Medicare reimbursement, and the state’s limited practice for nurse practitioners. This limited practice restricts nurse practitioners from making particular medical decisions without a doctor’s approval.
The assessment tool utilized as the basis of this analysis was the SWOT analysis. The main findings were that there is an extremely high nurse turnover and many nurses need to upgrade their skills. A high nurse turnover considerably impacts the patient-nurse ratio, affecting the quality of healthcare services provided (Chen et al., 2019). Moreover, the issue of a large number of nurses requiring upskilling significantly threatens patients’ safety because their caregivers may not, for instance, know how to use the latest technological equipment.
An Area of Concern Identified During a SWOT Analysis
During the SWOT analysis, I identified an area of concern relevant to the care setting’s vision, mission, and values. This area is the limited practice of nurse practitioners within the setting. This restriction hinders them from performing some tasks they are well equipped to carry out without supervision. The area is relevant to this setting’s mission, values, and vision in that a nurse practitioner who can offer various services that she is trained to offer without restrictions can deliver those services at a pocket-friendly cost compared to a doctor. With affordable prices, the services will be cost-efficient and desirable. Moreover, the services will be fair and just. Therefore, it is essential and valuable to improve this area of concern as most of the healthcare professionals within the setting are nurse practitioners, and they are the ones who are often given the responsibility of delivering primary healthcare services to the many patients received at the healthcare setting. Increasing the scope of practice for nurse practitioners will significantly deal with this concern.
Part 3: Comparison of Approaches
Comparison of AI and SWOT Approaches to Analysis With Respect To Data Gathering and Interaction with Others
There is a significant difference between the AI approach and the SWOT analysis. The AI approach takes on the optimistic outlook of the assessment process, while the SWOT analysis takes on the pessimistic approach (Shaw, 2020). My mindset when utilizing the appreciative inquiry approach is to anticipate positive feedback. In contrast, my mindset when utilizing the SWOT analysis is to identify faults and flaws. Moreover, the types of evidence and data I presume to find with appreciative inquiry are extracts and anecdotes of stories and initiatives that were previously successful. With SWOT analysis, the data and evidence I anticipate finding are facts and figures. On the other hand, the similarities between these two approaches are that they focus on making the care setting operate better and help conduct strategic planning. Lastly, the main difference between them is that one concentrates on positive responses while the other focuses on negative responses.
Part 4: Analysis of Relevant Leadership Characteristics and Skills
Analysis of Leadership Characteristics and Skills Most Desired in the Individual Leading Potential Performance Improvement Projects
The leadership characteristics preferred in the appreciative inquiry approach comprise effective communication skills, positivity, empathy, vision, and humility. In SWOT analysis, the preferred characteristics include effective communication, delegation, accountability, and integrity (Santos et al., 2020). These characteristics would considerably help leaders facilitate a project because the appreciative Inquiry individual will be approachable and likable. In contrast, the SWOT individual will be needed to maintain the integrity and present facts only. The only shared characteristic between these two is the need for effective communication skills. This skill is essential for both individuals because they will need to interact effectively with their team members.
In summary, the healthcare sector transforms rapidly, increasing competition among various care settings. To cope with the transformations and become the best, a care setting requires developing and maintaining competitive advantages. Appreciative inquiry and SWOT analysis significantly help an organization analyze its performance and carry out strategic planning to remain competitive. In this care setting, the AI identified stories demonstrating good performance, and the SWOT analysis identified an area of concern that needs improvement.
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