Original Research

Practice standards for quality clinical decision-making in nursing

E Arries
Curationis | Vol 29, No 1 | a1052 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v29i1.1052 | © 2006 E Arries | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2006 | Published: 28 September 2006

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E Arries, Faculty of Health, School of Nursing, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to formulate practice standards for quality clinical decision making in nursing.
Clinical decision-making is a critical component of nursing practice, as the life of the patient is at stake. The quality of clinical decision-making is, therefore, essential in delivering quality nursing care. The facilitation of quality clinical decision-making in nursing requires the development of standards to monitor, evaluate and implement remedial actions that improve on the quality of clinical decision-making (Muller, 2002:203; Beyea & Nicoll, 1999:495). However, there are no such practice standards against which the quality of clinical decision-making by nurses can be evaluated and assessed.
A qualitative, explorative, descriptive and standard formulation research design (Mouton & Marais, 1990:45-46; Muller, 1990:49-55) has been followed to develop standards for quality clinical decision-making in nursing. Standard development was based on the principles described by Muller (in Booyens, 1998:607-608; 636-637), and consists of development and quantification phases that are modified to meet the requirements for instrument development, as described by Lynn (1986:382-385). The formulation of these practice-standards was derived deductively from a conceptual framework. The conceptual framework was constructed based on an exploration and description of the expectations of the stakeholders about quality clinical decisionmaking in nursing and a literature study on clinical decision-making. To ensure the credibility of the standards for clinical decision-making in nursing, principles of logic, prolonged engagement, triangulation, peer-group discussion, dense description, stepwise repetition and an investigative audit (Lincoln & Guba, 1985:289-331) were adhered to. Two experts were consulted to validate the standards for quality clinical decisionmaking in nursing.

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