The Role of Nurse Quality Specialist at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute
Quality is an emerging area of professional nursing practice. In line with the national call for health systems to consistently deliver reliable and safe care, many schools of nursing are beginning to offer master of nursing programs in quality and patient safety.
The nurse quality specialist supports the understanding, integration and application of quality programming in healthcare settings. Nurse quality specialists promote the highest-attainable quality through assessment of patient outcomes, identification of opportunities for improvement, and development of recommendations aimed to increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes. They often lead the development and implementation of initiatives by collaborating with interdisciplinary teams.
At Swedish Neuroscience Institute, we are fortunate to have Nurse Quality Specialist Sarah Hopkins, MN, RN, CNOR, CPHQ, CPHRM, NE-BC. The quality nurse role has been a key figure in transitioning from tracking pure outcome data to implementing new processes to elevate the quality of care provided to every neuroscience patient in both outpatient and inpatient settings. Ms. Hopkins manages teams to bring the science of clinical practice to an industry-leading standard. She is a quarterback and designs strategies to enhance collaboration across a highly-matrixed organization.
Nurse quality specialists often collaborate with executive operational and medical leadership when designing programs to optimize patient-centered care and the patient experience. These individuals stay current with national standards of best practice clinical care, regulatory and accreditation standards, as well as innovative reimbursement models associated with high performance. Nurses who are passionate about improving clinical care and transforming healthcare would find this specialty fascinating and highly-rewarding.
This article was co-authored by Sarah Hopkins, RN, and Akshal Patel, MD, at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute. Sarah is a University of Providence RN-to-BSN alumni and recent University of Washington-Bothell graduate with a Master of Nursing in administrative leadership.