Patient safety remains one of the top priorities in the field of healthcare. Despite significant improvements made in the field in recent years, the number of adverse patient outcomes associated with medical and nursing errors remains at an unacceptably high level by the modern standards. The following paper provides an overview of the issue of patient safety and points to the intersection points between the issue and the nursing profession.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
Patient Safety in Professional Nursing
According to the findings of a series of studies conducted by the Institute of Medicine Quality, up to 98,000 patients die each year as a result of preventable errors (Hood, 2014). In response to this information, the issue of compromised patient safety has been extensively studied in an attempt of achieving and maintaining higher safety standards. According to the current academic consensus, the recommended general direction is towards the removal of barriers to the practice of nurses coupled with the establishment of an improved education and training network that would allow seamless academic progression. In addition, nurses are recommended to facilitate partnerships with clinicians and other healthcare professionals and incorporate reliable and valid data to support and promote evidence-based solutions for patient safety improvement.
Further research has revealed several approaches that resulted in observable improvement of patient safety. For instance, the integration of reporting systems into nursing activities combined with leadership engagement has resulted in the reduction of nursing errors. In a similar manner, both the introduction of mandatory error reporting and the higher accreditation requirements have improved both the quality and safety of care. Several scholars have suggested that safety improvements are best achieved through a systemic effort, such as the creation of a just culture, intended to promote constant quality improvement without disrupting favorable workplace environment. Similarly, the introduction of hospital safety standards and mandatory safety protocols has reduced the impact of a human factor and increased the consistency of quality improvement. Finally, the introduction of quality and safety education for nurses proved to be effective in enhancing nursing competencies and is expected to improve interprofessional collaboration and, by extension, patient safety.
Nursing Safety Champions
As was mentioned above, one of the methods of achieving greater patient safety requires establishing and maintaining partnerships between nurses and other healthcare professionals. In its current state, the health care system is a complex entity that involves specialists from highly diverse fields. While such diversity is necessary for addressing needs of multiple patients, it also introduces a number of risks to their safety. Specifically, a significant number of nursing errors occurs due to miscommunication between professionals from different departments.
According to Allen et al. (2015), nurses are expected to perform the key role in enhancing patient safety for two reasons, First, the nature of nurses’ interaction with the patients equips them with experience and knowledge necessary for maintaining a desirable level of safety. Second, their practice requires interactions with a wide array of clinicians, which provides them with an opportunity to deliver the relevant competencies to the areas where gaps in patient safety are identified. Thus, it is reasonable to view nurses as champions for patient safety. Allen et al. (2015) suggest the use of rapid response teams for the delivery of critical care expertise across various departments of healthcare domain.
As can be seen from the information above, the factors that have the most significant negative impact on patient outcomes include miscommunication, inappropriate workplace practices, and lack of established safety standards, among others. In order to address the identified areas, it is necessary to develop comprehensive solutions that would be based on collaboration between nurses and specialists from other areas of healthcare domain. With such interventions on hand, it would be reasonable to expect a decrease of preventable errors and, by extension, an overall improvement in patient outcomes.
Allen, D., Weinhold, M., Miller, J., Joswiak, M. E., Bursiek, A., Rubin, A.,… Grubbs, P. (2015). Nurses as champions for patient safety and interdisciplinary problem solving. MedSurg Nursing, 24(2), 107-111.
100% original paper
on any topic
done in as little as
Hood, L. J. (2014). Leddy & Pepper’s conceptual bases of professional nursing (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.