Competing Needs and their Impact on Policy
The needs of patients, workforce, and resources are competing needs that impact the development of policy tremendously. The agenda that the policy is advocating for should mitigate the competing needs. An example of this would be the shortage of nurses in the workplace. The continuous shortage of nurses is due to high turnover rates, lack of potential educators, and inequitable workforce distribution (Haddad et al., 2022). If a policy adequately addresses staffing issues, then patient and workforce needs are met and costs are decreased.
If a policy does not adequately address staffing issues, then there could be numerous negative impacts. According to an article on RevCycleIntelligence.com, it has been shown that inefficient or ineffective healthcare workforce management can increase labor costs significantly (RCI, 2020). Not only does it affect labor costs, but it compromises the safety of both nurses and their patients as well. Inadequate staffing leads to work overload of available nurses, which leads to burnout. A study has that there is a significant relationship between decreased patient safety and increased levels of burnout (Garcia et al., 2019).
Competing Needs and their Impact on COVID-19
One competing need that has been impacted by COVID-19 is the decrease in essential resources healthcare workers need to perform their job duties, such as personal protective equipment, or PPE. The use of PPE has significantly increased since the rise of COVID-19. In fact, the World Health Organization (2020) stated that there is a severe disruption to the global supply of PPE. Implementing a policy regarding PPE can save facilities resources and financial costs. For example, the policy could address the proper donning and doffing, sanitation, and storage of PPE after each use for full optimization of supplies. In turn, costs are lowered, efficiency is increased, and the facility’s staff has the necessary resources to carry out their job duties.
Garcia, C. L., Abreu, L. C., Ramos, J., Castro, C., Smiderle, F., Santos, J., & Bezerra, I. (2019). Influence of burnout on patient safety: systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 55(9), 553. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55090553
Haddad, L. M., Annamaraju, P., & Toney-Butler, T. J. (2022). Nursing shortage. NCBI – WWW Error Blocked Diagnostic. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493175/
RCI. (2020, May 4). Optimizing healthcare workforce management for high-value care. RevCycleIntelligence. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from https://revcycleintelligence.com/features/optimizing-healthcare-workforce-management-for-high-value-care
World Health Organization. (2020, January 10). Coronavirus. World Health Organization. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1