Patient Safety Initiatives

Patient safety in the healthcare industry is an important matter that all institutions providing healthcare aim at achieving. Patient safety initiatives should ensure that high quality care is provided to patients in ambulatory and inpatient settings (Sullivan, 2012). Patient safety initiatives use reports and analyses in the healthcare institutions to formulate measures that are geared towards preventing medical errors (Amer, 2013). Several initiatives have been proposed to minimize and/or prevent medical errors that lead to patients’ injuries and deaths. Quality care is an essential feature in nursing practices and healthcare institutions (Jordan, 2009). Some of the accrediting and regulatory agencies are the Joint Commission and Institute of Medicine (IOM).

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One of the patient safety initiatives is a proper identification of patients. This would be using of their name and birth date as a patient identifier. It is important to ensure that the a patient gets the correct medication or treatment done. Never use a room number to try and identify a patient as this is not safe, since sometimes you have two patients in a room or the patient you are looking for has been moved to another room.

Institutions providing healthcare have adopted modern electronic health records to reduce and prevent medical errors that would cause harm to patients (Sullivan, 2012). Electronic health records incorporate automated systems for drug prescription (e-prescription), laboratory tests and procedures, allergy checks and patient continuous education information. Misidentification issues have also been addressed by electronic health records because they ensure proper entry, storage and retrieval of patients’ data (Amer, 2013).

Patient safety and quality care evaluation methods and tools

Patient safety and quality care are valuable outcomes in the healthcare institutions that need constant evaluation. The evaluation tools and methods help determine the success or failures of the patient safety and quality care initiatives. The initiative measurements and benchmarking are conducted to assess quality improvement and patient safety initiatives in the healthcare industry. To ensure safety in health care, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends for facilities to consider adopting 5 principles: providing effective leadership, promoting effective team functioning, recognizing health care provider limits, anticipating the unexpected, and creating a learning environment (Amer, 2013). IOM’s aim is to help those in government and the public make the informed health decisions by providing reliable evidence which may be used in health care.

The Joint Commission is a national initiative in improving safety and quality care in hospitals. It is an accrediting agency that regularly inspects and evaluates health care facilities. It also mandates and regulates the national patient safety goals. (Sullivan, 2012). The Joint Commission also investigates the threat and actual events contributing to patients’ injury and death.

These agencies use measured standards to evaluate safety and quality improvement in facilities. If an incident occurs at a facility, a nurse would likely initiate an incident report that explains the accurate details of the incident.

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One of the methods used to assess patient safety and quality care is Six Sigma (Sullivan, 2012). The tools used in this program may include the Pareto chart which is a cause analysis using a bar and line graph to analyze frequency of problems or causes in a process. The Pareto chart summarizes and displays the importance and differences between groups. Run and control charts are graphs utilized to study how a process changes over time with data.

The Plan-Do-Study-Act method is applied to implement the short-term patient safety initiatives. The model is characterized by cycles of impacts and assessments. The method attempts to associate process manipulations with the outcomes (Sullivan, 2012).

Impact of patient safety initiatives on nursing leaders

Nursing leaders are crucial in implementing patient safety initiatives (Sullivan, 2012). Achievement of patient safety initiatives is a part of the Magnet journey by nurses (Jordan, 2009). Successful implementation of patient safety initiatives has positive impacts on nursing leaders. They have successfully implemented patient safety initiatives and are motivated to work, and their performance outcomes are improved.

How I would promote the patient safety and quality care initiatives

First, as a nursing leader, I would understand that my interaction with my team members would be essential in achieving the goals of the patient safety and quality care initiatives. Research demonstrates that the influence of nursing leaders is crucial in effective coordination of care in the healthcare institutions. Secondly, I would inform my team members about the importance of implementing patient safety and quality care initiatives in our healthcare setting. Thirdly, I would motivate my team members to work towards achieving the goals of the initiatives, and let them know that their performance measurements would be based on the success of the initiatives.

How I would use the evaluation methods and tools

The evaluation methods and tools would be essential in ascertaining the success of the patient safety and quality care initiatives. They would inform on the types of defects experienced during the implementation process. From this, I would propose certain ways of circumventing the defects in the future (Amer, 2013). If only a few of my team members comprehend technical components in the patient safety and quality care initiatives, I would restructure the initiatives to make them easier to follow and implement.

Conversation

To my classmates: As a nursing leader, what other approaches do you think can be used to improve patient safety and quality care? If you were to participate in a quality and safety research study, what would be your best contributions towards excellence of the project? What role do you play to promote safety and quality care at your workplace?

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References

Amer, K.S. (2013). Quality and safety for transformational nursing: Core competencies. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Jordan, Z. (2009). Magnet recognition and practice development: two journeys towards practice improvement in health care. International journal of nursing practice, 15(6), 495-501.

Sullivan, E. J. (2012). Effective leadership and management in nursing (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

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