Enhancing quality and safety

Enhancing quality and safety

Health care organizations and professionals strive to create safe environments for patients however, due to the complexity of the health care system, maintaining safety can be a challenge. Since nurses comprise the largest group of health care professionals, a great deal of responsibility falls in the hands of practicing nurses. Quality improvement (QI) measures and safety improvement plans are effective interventions to reduce medical errors and sentinel events such as medication errors, falls, infections, and deaths. A 2000 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report indicated that almost one million people are harmed annually in the United States, (Kohn et al., 2000) and 210,000–440,000 die as a result of medical errors (Allen, 2013).

The role of the baccalaureate nurse includes identifying and explaining specific patient risk factors, incorporating evidence-based solutions to improving patient safety and coordinating care. A solid foundation of knowledge and understanding of safety organizations such as Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and The Joint Commission and its National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) program is vital to practicing nurses with regard to providing and promoting safe and effective patient care.

Analyze the elements of a successful quality improvement initiative.
Explain evidence-based and best-practice solutions to improve patient safety focusing on medication administration and reducing costs.
Competency 2: Analyze factors that lead to patient safety risks.
Explain factors leading to a specific patient-safety risk focusing on medication administration.
Competency 4: Explain the nurse’s role in coordinating care to enhance quality and reduce costs.
Explain how nurses can help coordinate care to increase patient safety with medication administration and reduce costs.
Identify stakeholders with whom nurses would need to coordinate to drive quality and safety enhancements with medication administration.
Competency 5: Apply professional, scholarly, evidence-based strategies to communicate in a manner that supports safe and effective patient care.

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