Challengesof Standard of Care
Inthe healthcare industry, the standard of care refers to theestablished guidelines that all health care providers should follow.The licensed health care providers are trained to deliver highstandard of care. As a result, they have a duty and responsibility toperform within their scope of practice. On the other hand, everypatient has the right to proper standards of care that arepersonalized, dignified, and safe. Failure to act in agreement withwhat is prudent and reasonable is deemed a breach of the standard ofcare. Violation of standards of care is often referred to asmalpractice, and can lead to legal implications (Gervais, 1999, pg1).Medical practitioners should be attentive to both legal andethical challenges of their practice.
Legalchallenges are one of the primary difficulties of the standard ofcare. According to Pozgar (2013), negligence or failure of a medicalpractitioner to exercise in a reasonable manner exposes them tolitigation. Despite the fact that they are educated and trained torespect their scope of practice, acts of omission will subject themto litigation and professional license review (Pozgar, 2013, pg 15).A breach of the standard of care has to be proven in the cases ofmedical malpractice. However, following the ethical principles guidestherapists in making moral decisions, and this helps to minimize therisk of malpractice, avoid the frequency of lawsuits, and loss oflicense in this litigious society (Steiner & Miller, 2014, pg352). In most countries, the main challenge to providing standardcare is the poor health care system design. As a result, this has ledto weak quality of care, medical errors, and dissatisfaction of boththe patients and the health professionals (Pozgar, 2013).
Also,the demand for qualified healthcare professionals has exceeded itssupply, resulting in a severe workforce shortage. The scarcity ofsuitably qualified, experienced, and competent medical providers toensure the proper standards of care is reported as one of the topissues. Additionally, Annas (2010) provides that low level of moraleand extreme pressure among the staff as another health carechallenge. Staff motivation is directly linked to the quality ofoutput delivered by a workforce. As the morale of the workerscontinues to deteriorate, more staff leaves. As a result, the workoutput decreases as the organization may hire inexperiencedindividuals or continue working with the few employees available.Besides, various surveys reveal how nurses in different institutionsare dissatisfied with their jobs due to working conditions, heavyworkloads, lack of proper support staff, increased overtime, andinadequate wages (Annas, 2010).
Ethicalissues are also problems associated with standard of care.Occasionally, ethical decisions occur and at times, most medicalpractitioners experience moral distress in case they face an ethicaldilemma concerning patient care (Ulrich et al, 2010). However,adhering to the ethical principles guides them in making the rightdecisions. The slow adoption of information technology by thehealthcare system is a challenge to the standard of care in mostcountries. For consistency, the automation of clinical transactionsto make available patients real-time data will increase communicationamong health providers and this enhance clinical decision makingreducing medical errors, increase quality, enhance consumerconfidence, as well as improve efficiency (Sittig & Singh, 2011).
Inlight of this information, improving the standards of health iscommendable. Research points out that patient satisfaction andreducing medical errors should be a priority in all the healthsystems. Furthermore, research evidence shows that if technologyadvances can be well harnessed, it can contribute tremendously toenhancing the quality of health care services.
AnnasGJ. (2010). Standard of Care — In Sickness and in Healthand in Emergencies. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1007700
Gervais,K. G. (1999). Ethicalchallenges in managed care: A casebook.Washington, Dc: Georgetown Univ. Press.https://books.google.com/books?id=1XOkzhli6A4C&pg=PA1&dq=Ethical+challenges+in+managed+care:&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiVvpyQkYXOAhXKbBoKHeIyClEQuwUIHzAA#v=onepage&q=Ethical%20challenges%20in%20managed%20care%3A&f=false
Pozgar,G. D. (2013). Legaland ethical issues for health professionals.Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.https://books.google.com/books?id=BAY9YeaioywC&printsec=frontcover&dq=).+Legal+and+ethical+issues+for+health+professionals.&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=).%20Legal%20and%20ethical%20issues%20for%20health%20professionals.&f=false
Steiner,J., & Miller, R. D. (2014). Problemsin health care law: Challenges for the 21st century.Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.https://books.google.com/books?id=XJCy-ktFcUUC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Problems+in+health+care+law:+Challenges+for+the+21st+century&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPv4qJioXOAhXFDxoKHehGB7YQuwUIHTAA#v=onepage&q=Problems%20in%20health%20care%20law%3A%20Challenges%20for%20the%2021st%20century&f=false
Sittig,D. F., & Singh, H. (2011). Legal, Ethical, and Financial Dilemmasin Electronic Health Record Adoption and Use. Pediatrics, 127(4),e1042–e1047. RETRIEVED FROMhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3065078/
Ulrich,C. M., Taylor, C., Soeken, K., O’Donnell, P., Farrar, A., Danis,M., & Grady, C. (2010). Everyday Ethics: Ethical Issues andStress in Nursing Practice. Journalof Advanced Nursing, 66(11),10.1111/j.1365–2648.2010.05425.x. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3865804/