The healthcare landscape in America is changing. After years of reform, the ways that these new laws are impacting the quality of healthcare is still being determined, but it is for certain that facilities must begin to adapt. As such, it is important to look at five serious ways that changing laws may impact the quality of healthcare in this country moving forward.
Licensing and Regulation of Nurses
Recent federal laws that have been passed require any hospital or healthcare facility that is certified to treat Medicare patients have a certain number of licensed registered nurses. Given the recent nursing shortage in America, this has compounded a staff problem, but it is also designed to positively impact the quality of healthcare. Having more trained nurses on staff is an obvious advantage to patient care, but it must not result in nurses working longer hours in order to compensate for a staffing shortage.
Personnel Management Practices are Impacted
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have had a direct impact on the personnel management practices employed by healthcare facilities across the country. This is due to the changing legislation that mandates a reduction in the overall cost of health care, while simultaneously improving patient care. It is important to maintain adequate numbers of licensed and experienced staff in order to satisfy these requirements.
The Need for a Master’s of Public Administration Degree
To better prepare for the changing legal landscape in healthcare, it is beneficial to earn a master’s degree in public administration. This will help prepare the leaders of tomorrow to meet the challenges of healthcare reform. It will also enhance the quality of healthcare in the long term.
Nurse-to-Patient Ratios Are Changing
Many states are beginning to implement stricter guidelines regarding nurse to patient ratios. The aim is to improve patient care by providing more regular access to nurses. This also has resulted in a need to better schedule nurses in order to prevent burnout in an age of staffing shortages.
Health Information Management
Patient records are to be kept safe, secure, and confidential. With the change in technology taking place in this area, health information management has become even more important. This will directly impact the quality of healthcare by making important patient information available from one provider to another in a much more seamless fashion.
It is important to remember that healthcare reform is still in flux in America. These are five ways that changing laws will almost certainly impact the quality of healthcare moving forward. There will be other changes to come in future years, and those will also have an effect on the way in which patient care in managed.