Medication errors should be prevented because they result in increased expenses in health care (Smeulers, Onderwater, Zwieten, & Vermuelen, 2014). Such errors are capable of causing patient harm even though they are easily preventable. Hospitals with the magnet status designation use appropriate strategies and practices in an attempt to prevent medical errors. This discussion summarizes a qualitative study article focusing on the issue of medical errors and the safety of patients. The essay gives a summary of the study and describes how the findings can be used to improve the quality of nursing. The essay also addresses the ethical considerations associated with the study.
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Background of study
Medical errors have become common in the recent past. Hospitals that record-high levels of such errors lose the trust of their clients. Individuals affected by such errors will find it hard to have better health outcomes. These errors have increased even though medical institutions can embrace the most desirable practices to deal with them (Smeulers et al., 2014). The targeted qualitative study was conducted to understand the nature and implication of medication errors in nursing.
Significance to nursing
The research study was relevant and applied in many nursing situations. The findings and ideas presented in the article can make it easier for medical institutions to support their nurses. By so doing, more nurses will receive the most desirable ideas and competencies in an attempt to deal with the problem (Smeulers et al., 2014). The study provides new ideas and procedures that can be used to minimize medication errors.
Medication errors have become common in many hospitals. Affected patients find it hard to achieve their health goals. On the other hand, the level of motivation decreases in the working environment. The affected workers find it hard to deliver quality health services (Smeulers et al., 2014). A proper understanding of the factors contributing to such errors is important in improving the quality of services available to many clients. This was the purpose of the study.
Objectives and Hypothesis
The main objective of the study was “to explore nurses’ experiences with and perspectives on preventing medication administration errors” (Smeulers et al., 2014, p. 1). The study hypothesized that a proper understanding of the major issues surrounding the problem of medical errors was important in implementing better safety initiatives.
The study focused on several concepts such as nursing shortage, nurse leadership, and evidence-based practice. Nursing management is relevant to improving quality delivery and patient safety. Such concepts should be taken seriously in an attempt to support the welfare of many patients and communities (Smeulers et al., 2014).
Methods of Study
The researchers used a qualitative study to explore the experiences of nurses towards dealing with the problem of medication errors in different healthcare settings.
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The study approach focused on the use of interview questions targeting registered nurses (RNs).
To complete the study successfully, the interviewers targeted 20 registered nurses. Each interviewee was expected to respond to specific questions within 60-90 minutes.
The interviewers used semi-structured topic lists to execute the study. The study targeted registered nurses from the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam (Smeulers et al., 2014). This facility offers tertiary care to patients with diverse needs. Informed consent was also required from the participants before conducting the interviews. The gathered information was then analyzed “using MAXQDA10 software” (Smeulers et al., 2014, p. 3).
Results of Study
What did they find?
The researchers obtained three key insights after conducting the qualitative study. The respondents indicated that every nurse was supposed to act responsibly and professionally administer medications. Nurses should also handle medicines with caution. The study observed that nurses should be aware of the potential risks and factors that might result in medication errors (Smeulers et al., 2014). They should also promote the best working environments in an attempt to minimize such errors. The third observation from the study was that nurses were required to accept and promote the most desirable safety practices.
Implications to nursing
The nursing profession can benefit significantly from this study. For instance, nurses should be aware of the challenges affecting their working environments. They should be ready to deliver quality support to their patients. The authors use the study findings to identify new practices such as double-checking of drugs and collaboration with patients (Smeulers et al., 2014). The practice will minimize medical errors. Medical practitioners should deal with specific challenges such as work pressure because they affect the quality of patient care. The study encourages practitioners to embrace the best practices towards dealing with medication errors.
How the Findings Contribute to Nursing Knowledge
The information presented in this article has the potential to support the needs of many nurses and clients. To begin with, the information presents new ideas such as collaboration and improvement of working environments. Such strategies will impact nursing practice positively. The research study explains why nursing managers (NMs) should work hard to improve and monitor the medication administration process. Some issues related to nursing have been identified in the study. For example, collegial relations, staffing, and education should be considered to improve the welfare of many patients. The nursing environment should be supported by using new ideas, innovations, and concepts (Smeulers et al., 2014). The article goes further to support the use of positive leadership, teamwork, evidence-based ideas, positive communication, and patient-centered approaches towards reducing medication errors (Smeulers et al., 2014).
Before executing the study, the authors ensured that the participants were willing to be part of the process. This fact shows that the issue of informed consent was taken seriously. The privacy of each of the respondents was protected. This situation shows clearly that every ethical consideration was taken seriously. However, the authors indicated that approval by “the Academic Medical Centre at the University of Amsterdam was unnecessary” (Smeulers et al., 2014, p. 8). This approach explains why researchers should ensure their studies are ethical.
This study encourages medical practitioners and nurses to embrace the power of positive safety practices. Nurse Managers (NMs) must create preferable environments to minimize most of the issues affecting patients. Multidisciplinary teams should develop the best environments characterized by continuous learning (Smeulers et al., 2014). The main focus should be on the best approaches towards improving the level of patient care and safety. In conclusion, registered nurses and healthcare managers should use the power of clinical reasoning to deal with medication errors. Nurses should be equipped with the best skills, resources, and knowledge to address this problem.
Smeulers, M., Onderwater, A., Zwieten, M., & Vermuelen, H. (2014). Nurses’ experiences and perspectives on medication safety practices: an explorative qualitative study. Journal of Nursing Management, 1(1), 1-10.