Nurses play key role in patient safety

  1. 3 Ten Years Later: Look To Nurses As Champions of Patient Safety
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    TOPICS: DELIVERY OF CARE

    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. IOM's 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.

    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Colu...ylorPauly.aspx

    I love the part of this article that states that fewer errors are made when the nurse is not constantly interrupted. Duh...
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  3. Visit  nursej22} profile page

    About nursej22, MSN, RN

    nursej22 has '22' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'med/surg,CV'. From 'WA state'; Joined Dec '02; Posts: 814; Likes: 1,463.

    15 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  tewdles} profile page
    4
    duh is good...
    hiddencatRN, herring_RN, jellybean_1, and 1 other like this.
  5. Visit  StNeotser} profile page
    5
    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?
  6. Visit  PostOpPrincess} profile page
    2
    So the world is round.

    No kidding
    tewdles and lindarn like this.
  7. Visit  tewdles} profile page
    4
    I wonder how I can get some of the grant money to tell people these kind of earth shattering truths?
  8. Visit  nerdtonurse?} profile page
    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?"
  9. Visit  AtomicWoman} profile page
    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.
  10. Visit  tewdles} profile page
    0
    I think actually that fewer interruptions resulting in fewer errors is sort of a common sense thing...it applies to almost everything...seems silly to actually have to study it.
  11. Visit  blamejoe} profile page
    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.
  12. Visit  AtomicWoman} profile page
    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.
  13. Visit  nursej22} profile page
    0
    Our hospital is looking at magnet status (please don't flame me) so we have finally started a nurse practice council. I am hoping that they will have some impact on change.
    But truly, change is difficult, you need strong, persuasive people who are willing to push things through. Having evidence is helpful, but you still have to show cost effectiveness and get by-in from affected parties.
    I understand in the UK that med nurses actually wear a different uniform or banner that signals they are not to be disturbed.
    I would just like to be able to filter my calls so I don't have to take every call every time my phone rings.
  14. Visit  blamejoe} profile page
    1
    Quote from nursej22
    Our hospital is looking at magnet status (please don't flame me) so we have finally started a nurse practice council. I am hoping that they will have some impact on change.
    But truly, change is difficult, you need strong, persuasive people who are willing to push things through. Having evidence is helpful, but you still have to show cost effectiveness and get by-in from affected parties.
    I understand in the UK that med nurses actually wear a different uniform or banner that signals they are not to be disturbed.
    I would just like to be able to filter my calls so I don't have to take every call every time my phone rings.
    My hospital is Magnet, and I am on my unit's Practice Council. This is usually the avenue I go through to bring up certain research that would improve our ability to "put the nurse back in nursing" (as my mother calls it.) I had previously been attending our network-wide Patient Safety meetings (which ironically was dismissed after finding that all objectives had been met??). But I agree with you about needing strong persuasive members, because it seems like our efforts are stifled by administration, timing, or the economy. No one brings up cost when a major issue arises, especially environmental or medication safety, but whenever we try to be PROactive instead of REactive, the $$$ shine through.

    On a hopeful note, this morning at 1000 I am headed to this month's practice council meeting to bring up issues again. Our other members are on the same side as me, and truly want to improve nursing care, but how to get through the roadblock at the top is not at the agenda.

    To your other points, our Pharmacy Safety Officer for the hospital met with us last week and mentioned those DND vests you talked about; he said the problem was that no one ever took them off!! (Could it have been the nurses' way of sending a message that we spend almost all our time doing important work?)
    nursej22 likes this.
  15. Visit  anurseadvocate} profile page
    1
    Patient safety is EVERYONE's responsibility. We must all remember that the more education patients and their loved ones have the more they can play a role in preventing errors.

    The Report "To Err Is Human" was shocking, but many of us knew the preventable errors that took place, as well as those that were covered........ignored, etc. shame on those who witnessed and did not report such.

    Today, ten years later, there has NOT, repeat NOT been any significant decline in the numbers of preventable errors that KILL.........
    lindarn likes this.


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