Addressing Patient Safety and Quality of Care

Addressing Patient Safety and Quality of Care

Patient safety and quality of patient care are the focus of some of the largest changes within health care. IHI’s Triple Aim initiative, as well as the Joint Commission and QSEN, are aimed at improving both the safety and quality of health care. This Assignment gives you the opportunity to focus on your chosen policy issue for the Position Paper and to explore factors that adversely impact quality and safety. For this Assignment, review the following: • Resources on quality/safety • Resources on health care outcomes To prepare for this Assignment: • Review the health care policy that you selected in Week 1. • Analyze your selected policy in relation to patient quality of care and safety. • Relate your policy to IHI Triple Aim initiatives (found in the Resources). • Examine the Assignment rubric for additional information and guidance. Write a 2- to 3-page paper utilizing the health care policy you selected in Week 1 and 2. Respond to the following prompts: • In what ways does your policy address safety, quality, or improved outcomes of care for patients? • Does your policy do an effective job of addressing the issue? Why or why not? Be specific and use examples. • Explain the role of the nurse in addressing the quality and safety standards within your policy. • Based on your assessment of the effectiveness of your policy on patient safety and quality of care, as well as your research from Weeks 1 and 2, what position do you plan to take in your Position Paper (which is due in Week 5)? Be specific on your viewpoint and reasoning. • Support your position with scholarly references in addition to weekly resources. Addressing Patient Safety and Quality of Care

Ways in which the Death with Dignity Act address safety, quality or improved outcomes for patients

The Death with Dignity Act is a legislation that allows patients terminal illnesses to voluntarily request and get a prescription drug from their physician to accelerate their death. The Act addresses quality and improved outcomes of patient outcomes by allowing patients to control the place and time of their death.  Preservation and promotion of patients’ self-determination is an essential element of ethical End-of-life care (EoLC). As Simmons (2018) indicates, justifications for supporting the Act are based on principles of dignity and autonomy. Loss of autonomy is the reason why patients choose aid in dying.   Aid-in-dying is insurance against suffering and provides a choice for dying patients. As indicated by Guo and Jacelon (2014), dying in a dignified way is considered as an objective of quality EoLC. Dignity is regarded to be a feature of an excellent death for terminally ill patients. Provision EoLC, with the aim of relieving pain is entrenched in the recognition of the innate dignity of every individual.


Effectiveness of the policy on patient safety and quality of care

Death with Dignity Act effectively addresses quality of care and patient safety by providing the patients with the option of dying comfortably and safety where and when they want. Since death is inevitable for terminal ill individuals, the law sets the criteria for prescribing lethal medications. The law encompasses several safeguards that protect individuals from compulsion or abuse. According to Orentlicher et al (2016), aid in dying might be provided only to a patient who has an incurable illness that will possibly lead to demise in six or fewer months. To ensure that the patient is competent in making decisions administration, another physician should verify that the patient is terminally ill as well as competent. Additionally, the patient the physicians must inform the patient about all practical options, like hospice care. If the patient has a mental condition that is influencing the decision, he or she should undergo a mental health evaluation (Alper et al, 2018).

The role of the nurse in addressing standards with the Death with Dignity Act

The provision of compassionate, patient-centered, holistic and high-quality care, entailing EoLC is fundamental to the practice of nursing. Respect for self-determination support for patient’s values and preferences at the end of life along with alleviation and prevention of suffering are the hallmarks of EoLC. Nurses are ethically not allowed to administer medical assistance in dying drugs. However, they are required to support patients with near-death discussions, evaluate the context the request in aid in dying, advocate optimized hospice or palliative care services and understand death with dignity statutes and also the way they affect nursing practice. ANA Ethics Advisory Board (2019) claims that a nurse should reflect on individual values connected with aid in dying and have an awareness of the way these values inform the capability of the nurse to offer objective information when responding to a request from the patient. For instance, the nurse might be motivated by religious or moral beliefs, feeling about partaking in the law or empathy for the patient, when considering the way to respond. Addressing Patient Safety and Quality of Care

The position I plan to take in my position paper

Based on my assessment of the effectiveness of the Death with Dignity Act on care quality and patient safety,  I plan to support the policy in my position paper. It is the right of people with a terminal illness to end their lives the way they desire. The laws originate from the basic notion that it is people with terminal illnesses, but not politicians with their ideology, religious leaders with their dogma and government and its inferences, who are supposed to make decisions about their end of life and control how much suffering and pain they should bear. Terminally ill individuals with six or fewer months to live are not suicidal. It is not their wish to die but they lack the option to live. Thus, they need support in taking actions that will lead to peaceful and dignified deaths. It is the fundamental responsibility of a physician to lessen suffering even when the actions taken might shorten life.


Alper, J., Cilio, C., Liverman, C., & English, R. (2018). Physician-Assisted Death: Scanning the Landscape: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, D.C: The National Academies Press

ANA Ethics Advisory Board. (2019). ANA Position Statement: The Nurse’s Role When a Patient Requests Medical Aid in Dying. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 24:3.

Guo, Q., & Jacelon, C. (2014). An integrative review of dignity in end-of-life care. Palliative Medicine, 28(7): 931-940.

Orentlicher, D., Pope, T., & Rich, B. (2016). Clinical Criteria for Physician Aid in Dying. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 19(3): 259-262.

Simmons, K. (2018). Suicide and Death with Dignity. Journal of Law and Biosciences, 5(2): 436-439. Addressing Patient Safety and Quality of Care