National Patient Safety Initiatives Essay Example

The purpose of this assignment is to analyze national patient safety initiatives. Review the National Patient Safety Goals, and select one initiative that you are familiar with or have seen in practice. In a 750-1,000 word paper, analyze the national patient safety initiative you have selected. Include the following in your paper:

A description of the national patient safety initiative you have selected that you are familiar with or have seen in practice and what the setting would be for that initiative.
A description of how this initiative is supported by evidence.
An analysis of how the nation is trending toward this goal and its importance for improving patient outcomes in health care. Provide one or two examples to support your position.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

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National Patient Safety Initiatives: The Safe Use of Medicines
The fact that there is a significant number of patient deaths and disability caused by preventable errors committed by healthcare workers was first brought to the public’s attention in 1999. This is the year in which the Institute of Medicine (IOM) launched the landmark report that they titled To Err Is Human (Palatnik, 2016). The report showed that at that time, about 98,000 preventable patient deaths were occurring every year in the United States because of this problem of medical and medication errors. An important recommendation by the IOM in that report was that technology should be harnessed by the healthcare stakeholders so that it can assist in reducing the number of errors committed by healthcare workers. It is in this context that the National Patient Safety Goals or initiatives were formulated by the National Patient Safety Foundation. According to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations or JCAHO (2021), there are currently seven national patient safety goals/ initiatives, viz (i) the correct identification of patients; (ii) improvement in staff communication; (iii) the safe use of medicines; (iv) the use of alarms safely; (v) the prevention of infections through measures such as consistent handwashing; (vi) identification of patient safety risks; and (vii) prevention of sentinel events or mistakes occurring in surgery. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the patient safety initiative or goal of the safe use of medicines.
The Selected National Patient Safety Initiative
The selected national patient safety initiative is that of the safe use of medicines (JCAHO, 2021). The setting for this initiative would be any healthcare setting (hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, home visitations, and so on). Any situation in which a healthcare provider or employee will give medicines to a patient would qualify as a setting for this initiative. The safe use of medicines is a very important issue as it is the source of many medical errors resulting in preventable patient disability and deaths. It occurs frequently and has far-reaching professional, ethical, and legal consequences. Apart from facing professional sanctions from regulatory bodies such as the State Board of Nursing, the healthcare professional involved (usually nurses) may also face a civil suit under the Tort of Negligence. National Patient Safety Initiatives Essay Example The remedy for this is damages paid in monetary terms. If proven that they breached the duty of care they owed to the patient by erroneously giving them the wrong medication/ dose, the charges may become criminal negligence carrying a custodian sentence.


How the Initiative Is Supported by Evidence
After the IOM report of 1999, efforts started being made to formally put up the legal infrastructure for the implementation of technology in healthcare. The culmination was the enactment of two laws that spelt the policy on the use of technology in healthcare in the US. The two related legislative policies brought about the so-called Meaningful Use initiative requiring all healthcare providers to use electronic health record (EHR) systems to capture, document, store, and retrieve patient medical information. The two laws were the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and the Health Information and Technology for Economic Clinical Health Act or HITECH (Sweeney, 2017).
The best evidence in support of the above initiative on safely using medicines lies in the development of innovative technology linked to the EHR systems with a view to facilitating the safe use of medicines by patients. According to Alotaibi and Federico (2017), several subcomponents within the existing state-of-the-art EHR systems are designed to specifically prevent medication errors such as the administration of wrong medications, wrong doses, or the taking of medications at the wrong time. All of these can lead to the death or disability of the patient. These EHR components related to the safe use of medications include Automated Medication Dispensing Cabinets (ADCs), Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA), Electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR), and the Electronic Medical Record or EMR (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017). These system components interface with each other and feed information to the EHR dashboard where the nurse informaticist can then undertake the process of data analysis using the outcome measures (Wang et al., 2018).
How the United States is Adopting the National Patient Safety Initiative of Safely Using Medicines and Its Importance in Improving Patient Outcomes  National Patient Safety Initiatives Essay Example

The US is first and foremost trending towards the above goal/ initiative by putting in place legislation that makes it mandatory to use interoperable EHR systems with the components mentioned above (ADCs, BCMA, eMAR, et cetera). That legislation includes the ARRA and the HITECH. The US is also trending towards the implementation and practice of this initiative through the work of quality assessment and accreditation bodies such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or AHRQ. The importance of this goal in improving patient outcomes is drawn from the fact that implementing measures that reduce medication errors, adverse drug reactions are avoided. This results in quicker recovery, shorter hospital stays, and a satisfied patient. One pertinent example is the Gold Accreditation by JCAHO that is offered to healthcare institutions and settings that show zero tolerance to medication errors.
Medication errors are a significant case of poor patient outcomes including death. The national patient safety goal of safely using medicines is aimed at addressing this. The US has done a lot in effecting changes that are in line with making this initiative succeed. Part of those efforts involves the enacting of laws that provide a policy framework for making this a reality.

Alotaibi, Y., & Federico, F. (2017). The impact of health information technology on patient safety. Saudi Medical Journal, 38(12), 1173–1180.
Palatnik, A. (2016). To err is human. Nursing Critical Care, 11(5), 4.
Sweeney, J. (2017). Healthcare informatics. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 21(1).
The Joint Commission (2021). 2021 national patient safety goals.
Wang, Y., Kung, L., & Byrd, T.A. (2018). Big data analytics: Understanding its capabilities and potential benefits for healthcare organizations. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 126(1), 3–13.  National Patient Safety Initiatives Essay Example

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