"Continuous Quality Improvement and Patient Satisfaction" is an outstanding example of a paper on care. Conventionally, the terms ‘ leadership’ and ‘ management’ are perceived to be synonymous, and people in workplaces tend to use them interchangeably. However, a leader is not the same as a manager and vice versa. Inasmuch as they both assume superior roles in administration, the two titles cannot be used interchangeably. The most common difference between leadership and management is that while a manager acquires administrative skills after training, a leader inherently possesses the same skills even in the absence of training.
Smith (2008) agreed that a leader usually makes a good manager but not any manager can become an effective leader. In the context of nursing, both leaders and managers perform distinct roles in facilitating the achievement of underlying objectives. In order to intensively comprehend the difference between leaders and managers in the nursing profession, a detailed analysis of a single issue will be undertaken. Succeeding sections of this essay will involve an examination of different approaches used by nursing managers and leaders in addressing the concept of continuous quality improvement and patient satisfaction. Continuous Quality Improvement and Patient Satisfaction With respect to nursing, Continuous Quality Improvement, commonly abbreviated as CQI, refers to processes meant to improve services in health care institutions.
In most cases, actual conditions of services in a given institution contain problems and shortcomings that hinder the wholesome achievement of the institution’ s goals. In this regard, CQI serves the purpose of improving conditions of services by identifying problems, devising alternative solutions, implementing the alternatives and taking corrective actions (Finch & Linda, 2012, p. 121). On the other hand, patient satisfaction entails enhancing the general well being and experience of both inpatients and outpatients within an institution.
Improving patient satisfaction involves basic activities like excellent nurse-patient interactions and improvement of service conditions among others. Typically, patient satisfaction is a fruit of effective Continuous Quality Improvement strategies. Therefore, the two concepts are extricable; patient satisfaction assumes the dependent variable position while CQI features as the independent variable. Comparison between Leadership and Management in Nursing In the process of CQI and patient satisfaction, nursing leaders and nursing managers play interrelated but distinct roles.
Nursing leadership involves inspiring and motivating employees. On the contrary, nursing management involves directing and delegating definite duties to the workforce (Smith, 2008, p. 23). In Continuous Quality Improvement processes, nursing managers draw up action plans and assigns different tasks to each participating team. For example, the first step in CQI involves identification of problems or needs. In this case, a nursing manager identifies the resultant areas of problems like patient dissatisfaction, employee dissatisfaction or issues arising from limited social responsibility. Subsequently, the manager assigns independent teams the task to unearth the nature of problems in each area.
In addition, a nursing manager provides a timeline for the completion of the problem identification exercise. In most cases, personnel issue may arise during this step of CQI. This means the manager will be responsible for restructuring the personnel requirements of the process in order to ensure optimal performance. Contrarily, a nursing leader would perform different tasks during the aforementioned step of Continuous Quality Improvement. Unlike the manager who assigns tasks, a leader is usually part of the teams tasked with responsibilities.
During the problem identification step of CQI, teams may encounter problems like lack of coordination between members, limited logistical resources and stress related to technical complexity and delicacy of individual tasks. According to Elaine and Monica (2013), a nursing leader is responsible for formulating new ways of addressing such problems within a team. Unlike a manager who would punish discordant team members, a leader would prefer to streamline the interpersonal relationship inside a team. Being part of the team, a leader knows the challenges faced during task performance.
However, the leader also acknowledges the importance of completing a task efficiently. Consequently, a nursing leader chooses to motivate and inspire the workforce towards the achievement of predetermined goals in quality improvement. In another comparison, nursing managers perform only the prescribed duties within the scope of his or her job description. Usually, performances of these duties are dictated by factors like stipulated timeline, availability of both personnel and financial resources and the designed goals of a health care institution. In the process of Continuous Quality Improvement, managers make decisions with close reference to the aforementioned dictating factors.
For example, the CQI process contains an action plan synthesis step. In this step, a good nursing manager will delegate duties according to the technical capability of employees. Aside from identifying who undertakes a task, managers also specify how the task is done, when the task should be completed and what to expect upon completion of a task (Finch & Linda, 2012). With respect to the concept of patient satisfaction, a nursing manager would rather direct nurses to follow stipulated rules instead of stepping out of line and assuming additional roles like counselling of patients.
Despite the effectiveness of such additional roles in enhancing patient satisfaction, nurses would have no option other than to follow the manager’ s directive. On the contrary, nursing leaders are not strictly restricted by resources like finances and the number of personnel. Actually, most nursing leaders still have to follow rules of operation adopted by a given health care institution. However, a good leader usually devises ways of harmoniously stepping out of the rule structure and address the needs of stakeholders like patients and employees.
For example in the action step of CQI, leaders would rather achieve a workable unity among team members rather than dividing individuals into specific task frames. As acknowledges earlier, nursing management emphasizes the use of reward and punishment as a means of improving employees’ output (Elaine & Monica, 2013). However, leadership puts emphasis on the values of cohesion, trust and mutual cooperativeness among members of a workforce. Whenever a nurse steps out of his or her directed responsibilities and comforts a patient in a similar manner that a social worker would do, then a leader would encourage such efforts from the nurse as a means of achieving patient satisfaction.
Personal Philosophy in Nursing Personally, I think that the nursing leadership approach takes precedence over the nursing management style. First, I am of the opinion that management entails logical execution of responsibilities. Inherently, the logical process of task execution is influenced by aspects of resource coordination and adherence to rules. In this case, strict management in a healthcare institution does not encourage flexibility of employees; hence patients may not get satisfied because limiting flexibility causes a corresponding reduction in the provision of customized services.
However, nursing leadership entails envisioning of purposeful objectives in individual tasks. In the context of CQI and patient satisfaction, leadership encourages flexible creativity whereas management asserts on systematic execution of procedural steps. Personally, I believe that employees and even patients cannot be satisfied whenever they are required to follow procedures. In fact, employees under strict management would display minimal motivation because the administration gives little chance for creativity (Elaine & Monica, 2013). On the contrary, leadership does not only encourage positive creativity but also values trust and cohesion; hence marking employees and patients feel like they are part of a bigger cause. Conclusion In conclusion, it is acknowledgeable that nursing leadership is more concerned with the promotion of positive attitudes and collective adherence to purposes of Continuous Quality Improvement and patient satisfaction.
On the other hand, nursing management is concerned with the coordination of resources, adherence to workplace rules and use of reward and punishment in promoting effectiveness within CQI and patient satisfaction processes.
Elaine, L. & Monica, R. (2013). Nursing leadership and management: An experimental approach. New York: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Finch, P. & Linda, Z. (2012). Accelerated education in nursing: Challenges, strategies and future directions. Pittsburg: Springer Publishing Company.
Smith, A. (2008). Nursing leadership and management effects work environments. Journal of Nursing Management, 17(1), 15-25.