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Effective Decision Making

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Improving patient care starts with empowering the people who care for those patients. When nurses have a seat at the table alongside other healthcare professionals and organization leaders, we have an opportunity to design protocols that benefit both team members and patients. Optimal outcomes and greater job satisfaction are more likely when nurses actively influence decisions that impact the quality of patient care.

Standard Definition

Nurses must be valued and committed partners in making policy, directing and evaluating clinical care, and leading organizational operations.

Critical Elements

For Organizations

  1. The health care organization clearly articulates organizational values, and team members incorporate these values when making decisions.
  2. The health care organization ensures that nurses in positions from the bedside to the boardroom participate in all levels of decision making.
  3. The health care organization provides team members with support for and access to ongoing interprofessional education and development programs focusing on strategies that ensure collaborative decision making. Program content includes mutual goal setting, negotiation, facilitation, conflict management, systems thinking, and performance improvement.
  4. The health care organization has operational structures in place that ensure the perspectives of patients and their families are incorporated into decisions affecting patient care.
  5. The health care organization establishes systems, such as structured forums involving appropriate departments and health care professions, to facilitate data-driven decisions.
  6. The health care organization establishes deliberate decision making processes that ensure respect for the rights of every individual, incorporate all key perspectives, and designate clear accountability.
  7. The health care organization has fair and effective processes in place at all levels to objectively evaluate the results of decisions, including delayed decisions and indecisions.

For Individuals

  1. Individual team members share accountability for effective decision making by acquiring necessary skills, mastering relevant content, assessing situations accurately, sharing fact-based information, communicating opinions clearly, and inquiring actively.

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