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National Patient Safety Goals, Essay Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1372

Essay

Introduction of the problem

There are several errors that are associated with medication. There are factors associated with the errors. The factors include medications that are commonly used to which patients are allergic, medications that need proper testing to ensure that certain levels of therapy are maintained, medications that are not prescribed or used frequently and medications that have similar packaging or names. The above factors often cause confusion and can lead to medication errors. This problem is highly rampant and needs addressing in order to improve the safety of using medications by patients. Wrong medication can cause deaths or adverse effects due to wrong drug, wrong dose or wrong route of administration.

Unlabelled containers may render solutions and medications unidentifiable. Tragic effects and errors have resulted from medications that are detached from their original containers and positioned in containers that are not labeled. This is an unsafe practice that neglects the basic principles that are concerned with safe medication management (The Joint Commission, 2012, p. 3). This unsafe practice is alarmingly common in most medical organizations. Labeling of solutions, medications and medical containers should be exercised since it is a risk-reduction activity. The process aims to address a recognized risk point in either preoperative or procedural settings in the administration of medications. Healthcare organizations should consider this goal as being important since their aim is to provide quality services.

The outcome of a patient can be negatively affected by medication discrepancies. The complexity of managing medications administered to patients make avoiding discrepancies an issue that needs urgent concern. The commission recognizes that the reconciliation of medication is a challenge to many health organizations. This is for the reason that it is complicated to get a complete list showing all patients’ medications. Many systems have come up that enable the tracking of a patient’s medications hence the risk is bound to diminish.

Goal: improve the safety of using medications

The goal chosen from the 2013 National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) is the one for improving the safety of using medications. The interview conducted involved a healthcare provider in one of the healthcare associations in the state. The respondent explained that there are elements of performance necessary for their field. The elements include: In procedural or preoperative settings or both, medications and solutions that are not administered immediately should be labeled (The Joint Commission, 2012, p. 3). The rule applies even if only one medication was used. In both settings, labeling is meant to be done when solutions or medications are transferred from the original package to another. In both settings, solution or medication labels include such things as quantity, strength, medication name, expiry date and time, diluents and volume.

The healthcare provider further explained that all medications and solutions should be verified both visually and verbally. This is to ensure that all parties involved are aware of the contents and how to administer. All medications or solutions should be labeled after preparation. This applies to all medications except if it is being administered immediately. All solutions or medications found unlabelled should be discarded immediately. On completion of procedures, all labeled containers used should be removed and discarded (The Joint Commission, 2012, p. 3). The elements are meant to improve the performance of the nursing field. The healthcare provider said that if the elements are put into practice by all parties, medication errors will be a history. Healthcare providers should know the medications that are high risk so that they take precautions (World Health Organization, 2011, p. 4). Checking habits should be developed among healthcare providers as well as communication.

How effectiveness is being measured

Effectiveness of the goal can be measured using pragmatic trials. This is a research trial that measures the effectiveness that is, it measures the benefits a correct treatment provides in routine clinical practice. Effectiveness of treatment strategies should be compared (Segal, 2010, p. 1). Effectiveness of proper labeling and treatments should be compared especially with patients from diverse medical, developmental and cultural backgrounds. Evidence of effectiveness, costs and risks of various medical practices should be analyzed. Existing practices should be monitored and compared against the accepted standards. The findings should then be used to change the behavior of healthcare practitioners to ensure that the care delivered meets the standards and regulations. The effectiveness of the goal will only be realized if accepted standards are practiced. The elements of performance should provide guidance on how the goals can be effectively achieved.

Strategies being used to address the problem

Because errors are caused by processor system failures, it is necessary to adopt strategies to identify ineffective care, inefficiencies and preventable errors. This will influence the changes that are associated with systems. The strategies are aimed at improving quality and safety of health care (Hughes, 2008, p. 1). Quality improvement efforts need to be measured in order to demonstrate whether the efforts lead to changes towards the desired direction, contribute to results that are unintended in the different parts of the system and needs enhanced efforts to bring the system back into acceptable ranges.

Measures of safety and quality can track progress of quality improvement strategies using external benchmarks. This involves collaborative and continued measurements and comparing results of key processes. This process can be used to evaluate quality performance and patient safety (Hughes, 2008, p. 1). Strategies that can be used include provider reminder systems. This is a system that includes putting reminders in charts for healthcare providers. Reminders can also be computer-based to aid in reminding the healthcare providers to perform their duties according to acceptable standards. Patient education is another strategy. The education will be aimed at promoting self-management (Hughes, 2008, p. 4). This includes ability to read and understand medical instructions, knowing the expiry dates of medications and ability to detect effects of medication.

A patient reminder system is another strategy that can be adopted to reduce the problem. This includes provision of devices and materials that promote self-management. Self-management can be promoted through the use of calls or postcards to patients (Hughes, p. 4). Adequate communication either verbal or written is necessary. This means that patients will have adequate information concerning medications administered. The strategy will also eliminate the wrong dose, wrong patient, wrong drug, wrong route and wrong time problems that are frequent in healthcare organizations. The strategies mentioned will ensure that, at the right time, the right medication is given to the right patient, in the right dose via a right route. The problem of medication errors will hence not be experienced, and patients will be ensured of safety while using medication. This is after all the primary goal of healthcare organizations.

The systems adopted aim to encourage patients to keep records of their allergies and medications. The information recorded should be provided to the doctor whenever they visit. This means that the healthcare providers will know the state of their health and hence advise them on the way forward. Practice makes perfect hence patients will adapt to the strategies in time. They will be aware of the importance of safety when using drugs and will take precaution.

Summary

Health care is complex hence assessing quality improvement is challenging and dynamic. The strategies of improvement require some elements for success, which include promoting and sustaining change and safety, understanding the problem through proper development and clarification, involvement of stakeholders, testing the strategies of change and continued monitoring of performance, as well as, report finding. This is all in a quest to sustain safety and quality in the healthcare organizations available. A lot of research is being done on medication safety in health care. The literature involved covers medication error problems, adverse drug events, and the threats that the problem poses for patients. Research aimed to address the complexity of the medication process is required in order to provide valid and useful knowledge that can be of essential use in the field.

References

Hughes, R. (2008). Chapter 44. Tools and strategies for quality improvement and patient safety, Patient safety and quality. An evidence-based handbook for nurses, 3. Retrieved from http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/clinicians providers/resources/nursing/nurseshdbk/HughesR_QMBMP.pdf

Segal, J. (2010). Comparative effectiveness research: Focus on pragmatic trials. Retrieved from www. PepperSymposium _May2010_Session3a.pdf.

The Joint Commission. (2012). National patient safety goals effective January 1, 2013, Hospital Accreditation Program.

World Health Organization. (2011). Topic 11: Improving medication safety, Patient Safety Curriculum Guide.

 

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