Nurses play key role in patient safety

  1. 3
    Ten Years Later: Look To Nurses As Champions of Patient Safety
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    Mary Naylor and Mark Pauly
    DEC 10, 2009

    Ten years ago this month, the Institute of Medicine shattered a widely held perception that American health care was safe. IOMís finding that as many as 98,000 patients die each year in hospitals from medical errors launched an aggressive patient safety movement that continues today.

    But the report also cast a spotlight on the role of the nurse in keeping patients safe, a role that will become even more important under the ongoing effort to reform the health care system.

    I love the part of this article that states that fewer errors are made when the nurse is not constantly interrupted. Duh...
    herring_RN, jellybean_1, and lindarn like this.

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  2. 15 Comments...

  3. 4
    duh is good...
    hiddencatRN, herring_RN, jellybean_1, and 1 other like this.
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    What they’ve learned is that when hospitals foster work environments that let nurses focus on safety interventions without fear of being constantly interrupted because there is inadequate staff to handle non-clinical matters, errors are reduced and the quality of care is improved. Imagine a nurse trying to reconcile a patient’s medications and being interrupted every 45 seconds for tasks that could have easily been done by other staff. These are the kinds of interruptions that often lead to medication errors, medical complications, and longer stays.

    Anyone here work in this fantasy land where they aren't being interrupted all the time for non-nurse matters?
  5. 2
    So the world is round.

    No kidding
    tewdles and lindarn like this.
  6. 4
    I wonder how I can get some of the grant money to tell people these kind of earth shattering truths?
  7. 5
    You mean you can actually get thru a med pass without having to change briefs/toilet a hand full of total cares, answer two family member phone calls, get your psych hold patient to LET GO of the male nurse that she wants to "get to know better," go to 2 other floors trying to find the meds pharmacy forgot to bring to the floor, and deal with 4 or 6 email "nasty grams" from management over where we park, when we can clock in/clock out, mandatory meetings, etc., and if you aren't interrupted you make fewer mistakes?

    Hail princess of the obvious. For her next trick, will she note that necessary patient interventions do not occur d/t doctors being rude and obnoxious to nurses when they wake them up for orders the doc wrote like, "call for SBP>160?"
  8. 2
    What is perfectly obvious to practicing nurses still needs to be backed-up with evidence. The public is clueless about most of these matters, so I am all for studies that show how interrupting nurses less frequently leads to less errors. I just had to gently chide my own sister two days ago when she told me she ran after a nurse passing meds to ask the nurse to deal with my mother's medication issues (non-emergency issues, I should add). The nurse politely told my sister she would deal with it when she got to my mother's room.
  9. 0
    I think actually that fewer interruptions resulting in fewer errors is sort of a common sense applies to almost everything...seems silly to actually have to study it.
  10. 0
    ok, so this is a duh moment, but ...

    anyone have any ideas how to take all these interesting "nurse-friendly" studies and produce some sort of organized change at your hospital? I bring up research findings about fewer distractions, short-staff, etc, and have yet to convince management to take another look at our work environment and facilitate a change.

    how can we use these articles to help us? I'll be a nurse for the next 40 years, and my house supervisor recently told me "once you're a nurse longer, you'll realize things aren't going to change." Not productive or inspiring at all.
  11. 0
    If we think things will never change, they won't. But you raise an interesting point. Evidence-based suggestions for change, backed-up by studies, are important. Without them, we risk sounding like we are only "complaining". But how does a floor nurse work to get those changes implemented or even considered? Any suggestions? Inquiring new grads and almost-new grads want to know.

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