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Literature Review: Patient Safety, Coursework Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1397

Coursework

Introduction

The use of pharmacological agents in healthcare practice is very common; however, it requires a high degree of skill and knowledge in order to protect patients from safety-related risks and to provide the best possible quality of care on a continuous basis. This enables nurses to be proactive in their efforts to understand the role of safety in protecting patients from risks when taking pharmacological agents. Nurses must be prepared to address medication safety in their routine activities with patients and provide education and guidance, while also promoting safety in all areas of medication administration and intake. Nurses must be able to administer medications safely, effectively, and in a timely manner, while also considering methods to improve medication distribution to ensure that patient care outcomes are consistently optimized. The following discussion will address these objectives in greater detail and will emphasize the importance of developing new ideas and strategies to promote quality of care and medication safety on a continuous basis, using existing literature to address these concerns.

Body

Patient safety in the healthcare environment is of critical importance in supporting a practical framework for administering medications that is safe, effective, and educational for all patients. For example, reconciling medications prior to transitioning patients to other forms of care is of critical importance, as noted by Kwan, Lo, Sampson, & Shojania (2013), as this reflects the need to minimize safety risks and to eliminate medication discrepancies whenever possible. Therefore, medication reconciliation must be a primary focus of nurses and provide an additional level of quality to the care and treatment experience to ensure that patients receive the best possible care and treatment at a consistent level to ensure that they are not put at risk at any point in the process (Kwan et.al, 2013). This article discusses a common yet less frequently explored area of transitions in care and how to address medication concerns at this level in order to enable nurses to consider their responsibility to patients in this area.

Nurses are responsible for many areas of patient care that require them to extend themselves to ensure that patient health is optimized at all costs; however, nurses are human beings, and human factors must demonstrate a balance between the different needs of patients and the necessity to promote quality of care through their actions and procedures (Carayon et.al, 2014). Therefore, nurses must demonstrate adaptive behaviors as necessary to ensure that patients receive high quality care on a continuous basis, particularly as nurses focus on patient-centered care to facilitate positive results (Carayon et.al, 2014). System needs may warrant an upgrade on current practices to ensure that patient care quality is not compromised, and this reflects the importance of understanding the role of patient safety in all areas of nursing and healthcare practice (Carayon et.al, 2014).

Patient safety with respect to medication administration must also be examined to ensure that an organization is equipped with the appropriate tools and resources to provide medications at the required levels in a safe and correct manner to ensure that patient care is not compromised in any way (Dubois et.al, 2013). There is a strong push towards a model that emphasizes a nurse’s role in professional development, as this provides a higher level of support and guidance for patients that will have a lasting impact on outcomes and reduced risks associated with a compromise in patient safety (Dubois et.al, 2013). Therefore, it is important to identify the tools and resources that are required to meet patient needs and expectations to minimize the risk of errors and other flaws that may directly impact medication administration and other challenges within the workplace environment (Dubois et.al, 2013). Based upon this study, it is likely that a shift towards increasing professional development activities and a greater emphasis on outcomes will go a long way in supporting improvements in medication administration that will positively impact patient care quality.

Protecting patients from risks associated with medication administration is an essential priority for nurses and requires their full input and guidance in order to prevent errors and other challenges (Peris-Lopez, Orfila, Mitrokotsa, & van der Lubbe, 2011). Under these circumstances, it is necessary for nurses to have access to the latest technologies in order to minimize medication errors and to effectively promote communication in managing medications among nurses (Peris-Lopez et.al, 2011). Most importantly, reducing errors that are action-based and those which are memory-based must be supported by a strategy that encompasses a cross-checking method, a means of avoiding distractions, and a means of labeling medications that is clear and concise (Peris-Lopez et.al, 2011). It is believed that these tools will go a long way in supporting patient needs and in demonstrating the value of nurses in alleviating medication errors as best as possible.

The utilization of prior evidence provides a pathway to improving medication administration for many patients, given the challenges of this process and the natural risk of errors for patients (Lawton et.al, 2012). Therefore, evidence-based practice must be used to modify current knowledge and strategies to encompass new methods to promote patient safety and to be effective in supporting patient care quality in all areas of medication administration activities (Lawton et.al, 2012). This process requires nurses to adapt to change as necessary in order to provide the best possible outcomes for their patients through medication administration activities that will improve quality of care and support patients by recognizing risks as they emerge (Lawton et.al, 2012). This article provides further acknowledgement that evidence-based practice is critical to the continued evolution of patient care and treatment that will positively impact patients throughout the treatment phase.

Finally, an article by Flynn, Liang, Dickson, Xie, & Suh (2012) addresses the significance of medication errors and their impact on patient safety. Most importantly, it was determined that patients will largely benefit from a practice setting that is supportive and in which communication is strong so that nurses are able to share ideas and develop a cohesive strategy to manage medication administration activities on a continuous basis (Flynn et.al, 2012). The ability of other nurses to intercept potential medication errors is a critical area of focus in minimizing these errors and in ensuring that patients receive high quality care and treatment at a consistent level (Flynn et.al, 2012). It is important for nurses to be effective in communicating regarding medications so that patient health is not compromised in the process of administering these drugs as prescribed.

Conclusion

Medication administration coincides with the ability to deliver high quality care and treatment to all patients. As a result, this process requires nurses to be proactive in addressing patient needs and in supporting a framework that aims to utilize prior evidence to ensure that medication-related risks are minimized. This practice also enables patients to benefit from a cohesive and communicative practice environment in which patients receive high quality care that places their needs above all else. This set of behaviors is critical for nurses as a means of promoting a care and treatment environment that focuses on the patient above all else, rather than emphasizing other areas where patient needs are not the primary concern. All nurses must be supportive of the chosen strategy for medication administration and emphasize the importance of communication in achieving these objectives.

References

Carayon, P., Wetterneck, T. B., Rivera-Rodriguez, A. J., Hundt, A. S., Hoonakker, P., Holden, R., & Gurses, A. P. (2014). Human factors systems approach to healthcare quality and patient safety. Applied ergonomics, 45(1), 14-25.

Dubois, C. A., D’amour, D., Tchouaket, E., Clarke, S., Rivard, M., & Blais, R. (2013). Associations of patient safety outcomes with models of nursing care organization at unit level in hospitals. International journal for quality in health care, mzt019.

Flynn, L., Liang, Y., Dickson, G. L., Xie, M., & Suh, D. C. (2012). Nurses’ practice environments, error interception practices, and inpatient medication errors. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 44(2), 180-186.

Kwan, J. L., Lo, L., Sampson, M., & Shojania, K. G. (2013). Medication reconciliation during transitions of care as a patient safety strategy: a systematic review. Annals of internal medicine, 158(5_Part_2), 397-403.

Lawton, R., McEachan, R. R., Giles, S. J., Sirriyeh, R., Watt, I. S., & Wright, J. (2012). Development of an evidence-based framework of factors contributing to patient safety incidents in hospital settings: a systematic review. BMJ quality & safety, bmjqs-2011.

Peris-Lopez, P., Orfila, A., Mitrokotsa, A., & Van der Lubbe, J. C. (2011). A comprehensive RFID solution to enhance inpatient medication safety. international journal of medical informatics, 80(1), 13-24.

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