Protocol, Standard of Care Delivery, and Policy

What is the difference between a protocol, standard of care delivery, and policy at the practice, state, and federal level? Briefly outline each. What are the perceptions of the health care delivery system from the perspectives of patients, providers, payers, and policy makers? Discuss at least one perception from one of the populations listed: patient, provider, payer, and policy maker.


Protocol, Standard of Care Delivery, and Policy

Nursing protocols include the specific written procedures that prescribe the nursing actions in a given situation. Healthcare institutions establish the protocols so that it becomes easy to ensure consistency and enhance the quality of patient care (Kelly et al., 2020). On the other hand, the standard of care delivery is the established principle that the nurses owe to the patients. The standards of care delivery include the legal, ethical, and professional duties nurses must ensure are carried out effectively. In addition, the standards of care delivery must also maintain safety and effectiveness, as this ensures that all the patients receive quality care. On the other hand, policy implies the course of action that the business or corporation has adopted or nursing institutions.

At the practice level, the protocols include duties that the healthcare workers must perform. As Kelly et al. (2020) note, these duties are used as the guide to the management of clinical situations and are also incorporated into systems to enhance evidence-based care for all patients. At the state and federal levels, professional expectations are set so that all qualified nursing professionals can follow them as they practice. These expectations include the standards of care. Suppose these standards of care delivery are not met and adhered to by the state and federal level nursing professionals. In that case, Legal implications are imposed on the nurses who violate the given standards of care delivery. Following this, the legal implications affect the nurses negatively, often leading to malpractice by the healthcare professional. Therefore, practicing nurses need to adhere to the set code of conduct so that they do not face any legal implications.

Patients have different perceptions regarding the healthcare delivery system. According to Grøndahl et al. (2018), patients believe the healthcare system must be stable enough to handle their healthcare problems effectively. Following this, the healthcare professionals must be held to a specific standard and be competent as they perform their duties. Sometimes, the patients do not even understand their conditions but expect the healthcare workers to understand them and treat them. Following this, the patients have very high expectations regarding their treatment plans. If the patients are not given good services at the healthcare institutions, they tend to file complaints and legal actions against the healthcare employees. When this happens, it negatively affects the healthcare institution and the healthcare worker.

Following the provider [perspective, the healthcare professionals need to ensure that they attend proper schooling. When this is done, it is easy to deliver quality patient services. Obtaining quality education ensures that the healthcare workers have excellent skills and knowledge that will help them when they start practicing. After successful training, the healthcare workers are given a license to indicate that they are now free to begin practicing since they are competent enough (Grøndahl et al., 2018). If the healthcare worker does not practice according to the healthcare standards and ethics, the license can be revoked. When this happens, it will be hard for workers to perform their duties as they are held accountable for their actions. Healthcare workers should ensure that they perceive their perspectives well so that it will be easy for them to deliver quality services.


Grøndahl, V. A., Kirchhoff, J. W., Lauvli Andersen, K., Sørby, L. A., Andreassen, H. M., Skaug, E., Roos, A. K., Tvete, L. S., & Helgesen, A. K. (2018). Health Care Quality from the Patients Perspective: A Comparative Study Between an Old and a New, high-Tech hospital. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare11, 591-600.

Kelly, U., Edwards, G., & Shapiro, S. E. (2020). Nursing Policies and Protocols. Journal of Nursing Care Quality36(3), 217-222.

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