Safety is one of the major factors affecting patient outcomes. It is an important part of effective and cost-efficient healthcare (Hood, 2014, p. 489). However, the research indicates that there is a gap between the current safety standards and the general state of the healthcare system. The issue continues to affect the patients and requires a serious discussion. It is important to properly educate the professionals on the importance of safety and closely monitor the state of the affairs.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
Safety and Ultimate Patient Outcomes
Patient safety means reducing the patient’s exposure to hazards and reducing the risk of harm during the treatment. It is an important part of the nursing practice and a significant contributor to the positive patient outcomes. The research indicates two major issues connected to the safety violations: “Medication errors and nosocomial infections are among the leading threats to patient safety, although many of these events could be prevented” (Tella et al., 2014, p. 7). Both of these problems severely affect the ultimate patient outcomes. The medication errors can have an undesired effect on the patient, prolong the necessary treatment and negatively affect the health prognosis. They present a major public health burden. The issue is compounded by the fact that the causes are hard to identify since some of the accidents occur due to production errors, rather than the nursing mistakes. The infections have the potential to actually worsen the state of a person, leading to readmissions and complications. They can have an unconvertible effect on the condition of the patient. Both issues are extremely widespread. The IOM reports indicate that safety violations cost Medicare more than 90$ million a year. That figure demonstrates the scale of the problem. AACN aims to address the safety competence of nurses more thoroughly, but the results of the program are not tangible yet.
Safety and Nursing Professional
Poor compliance with the safety standards does not exclusively affect the patients. While they are subjected to the most adverse effects of such mistakes, the nursing workers themselves suffer tangible consequences. Safety violations increase the risks of cross contaminations by exposing the nurses to more cases of infection. That puts the well-being of the medical workers at risk and by proxy decreases the efficiency of the healthcare system as a whole. The professional status of a nurse might also be put at risk if the patient seeks to press the charges after suffering from an unsafe practice. Even if the nurse is proven innocent, the negative publicity might put them under severe peer pressure and even force them to retire. Moreover, the patients who have suffered from a poor safety protocol have to seek help again, thus, increasing the workload of the medical personnel. All of these factors underline the need for a proper safety education that will allow the nursing workers to avoid costly mistakes.
It is clear that proper safety procedures not only allow for positive outcomes in patients but also increase the overall efficiency of the healthcare system. However, the research indicates that the current nursing education does not cover the subject of safety sufficiently (Tella et al., 2014, p. 12). Without the proper knowledge on the subject, the nurses are not able to perform their duties efficiently and put the wellbeing of the patients, as well as their own, at risk.
Hood, L. J. (2014). Leddy & Pepper’s conceptual bases of professional nursing (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Tella, S., Liukka, M., Jamookeeah, D., Smith, N., Partanen, P., & Turunen, H. (2014). What do nursing students learn about patient safety? An integrative literature review. Journal of Nursing Education,53(1), 7-13.