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Resource Utilization in Nursing

The importance of proper resource utilization in nursing is hard to overstate. Resource utilization is figuring out the optimal way in which a procedure, therapy or technique can be used to achieve desired health outcomes. It can also refer to the appropriate usage of available medical staff and healthcare professionals. Sometimes resource utilization is in reference to using the appropriate medical technologies or supplies. In all cases, resource utilization refers to an accurate assessment and use of supplies or staff hours to ensure there is no waste or redundancy.

The key to appropriate resource use is to accurately evaluate factors related to safety, effectiveness availability and expense as one considers the various options available to create a particular health outcome for a patient. It is therefore important to have an extensive working knowledge of supplies, technologies, techniques, medicines, available staff to perform a procedure and the costs associated with each one. With this knowledge available you can then match the best techniques with the best use of medical supplies and personnel with the lowest overall cost. This then allows money to be saved for the patient and the hospital which in turn frees up those resources to be used elsewhere in the organization to achieve the best results possible for the organization, medical staff and the patients.

In some cases, proper resource utilization occurs as part of a process of helping patients and their families who are leaving the hospital to have access to appropriate services, medications and medical supplies which will yield the best results at the lowest cost. This helps patients to achieve their necessary and desired health outcomes without sacrificing expensive costs or quality of care. This helps to build the foundation of informed consent by adequately explaining patient options, associated costs and desired outcomes in explicit detail with the patient and their family to ensure that they have a full understanding of the medical choices they are making to ensure best outcomes through informed consent.

It is important when delegating tasks to hospital personnel to be extremely specific as to what procedures, supplies, technologies and medicines should be used in patient care to ensure proper resource utilization occurs. This requires you have knowledge of your staff, the available medical supplies and technologies on hand as well as their efficacy and cost. This saves time for your staff so they do not have to improvise with a potentially less effective or more expensive method of treatment. It is critical to be precise in your instructions to staff to ensure that no harm comes to the patient due to an inadequate substitution of supplies. The efficacy of the treatment is always the cornerstone of appropriate care, with cost being an important factor as long as it meets the needs of the patient and follows best practices guidelines.

Proper resource utilization when appropriately applied helps to ensure the best possible health outcomes for patients while saving the organization and the patient money. It also helps to maximize staff usage in such a way as to eliminate redundancy and increase overall efficiency throughout the organization.

You can read the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s study on improving resource utilization through patient dependency systems here.