Medication Safety Standards
Medication safety is one of the most prominent health service standards seeking to introduce aspects of safety and quality in health service standards. This is because the use of medication is the most prevalent type of treatment intervention globally. Adherence to directions on how to use medications safely promotes significant improvements to patient’s wellbeing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), close to 2.6 million deaths annually are attributed to medical errors (World Health Organization, 2019). Healthcare professionals are commonly the first line of defense in promoting the proper use of medication at facilities. They also provide useful guidance to patients on how best to use prescription drugs to prevent misuse that may result in dependence or even death. The medication safety standard, therefore, forestalls incidences of preventable harm originating from the use of medication. Issues related to this standard can affect the health outcomes of persons undergoing treatment for a specific ailment. Improper use of medication can also lengthen patient’s stay within a care facility, ultimately increasing the cost of health through additional readmission fees. Thu, medication safety is an integral standard useful in reducing the potential harm that patients can be subjected to during treatment. Executives in healthcare facilities are now required to introduce systematic monitoring with the aim of making sure the medication errors do not occur. This promotes then safety of patients while assuring them of effective and quality use of medication. The execution and full integration of medication safety standards requires hiring competent clinicians. Expertise in the field is crucial in enabling them to prescribe appropriate medication safely while monitoring continued use by patients.
Medication safety standards also entail the dissemination of fundamental information about an assortment of medicines and potential risks associated with prolonged use. Clinical leaders are tasked with bolstering efforts to support proper medication management by relying on a wide range of organizational structures within the facility. The presence of this elaborate system promotes medication safety through the appropriate obtaining, storage, manufacturing and dispensing of medication. Medication safety standards require medical facilities to document personal patient information and use this data before commencing with treatment. A detailed history of the medication used during treatment provides significant data linked to drug interactions, adverse reactions and allergies to specific medications. From this point, clinicians are expected to implement principles of medication safety standards by managing continuity. A review of all medications prescribed to a patient is conducted before informing of their specific medical needs and potential for risk. Medication safety standards also include the process of management. It is vital to procure medicines with a track record of safety, in addition to proper disposal after use. The application of this approach is associated with improvements in patient’s health and wellbeing.
Adverse medical events caused by the improper use of medication affects a patient’s quality of life though an increased frequency in health complications. Medication safety standards elucidate the integral nature of workforce communication in reducing errors that are commonly made during treatment. It also promotes the development a partnership between patients and clinicians. This ensures that they have an unprecedented access patient data before making a determination of the best clinical decision to make given the circumstances.
Rationale for the Inclusion of Medication Safety in Health Service Standards
The inclusion of medication safety in health service standards was occasioned by the significant rise in medical errors recorded within the healthcare system. The inclusion of medication safety in health service standards was, therefore, meant to introduce a comprehensive strategy to reduce medication errors while assisting patients to gain a broad understanding of specific medical conditions. Medication safety standards were also meant to improve the efficacy of medication during use. It seeks to reduce incidences of wrong dosages either through prescription or administration by a healthcare provider. Medication safety standards are also a necessity since errors till occur in healthcare settings where sophisticated technology is applied. They were also meant to ensure that healthcare facilities followed a workable routine to prevent cases of memory lapse caused by fatigue and often resulting in medical errors. The inclusion of medication safety standards now means that healthcare facilities strive to provide a fitting workplace environment where errors are least likely to occur. It also outlines common communication problems capable of causing errors and how to avoid them. Misunderstood written and verbal may result in cases of miscommunication and anomalies in the dosages that are to be prescribed and administered to patients (“Medication Safety in Hospitals: Avoiding Medication Errors in the Medication use Process,” 2013). Medication safety standards bolster concise medication reconciliation to prevent prescribing and paperwork errors. The ordering phase has recently been identified as a precarious stage where medication errors are likely to occur. Medication safety standards were introduced partly to address this challenge by reducing the sophistication of the seemingly mundane action of prescribing drugs in healthcare facilities.
The incorporation of medication safety in health service standards was also a broad-based scheme to improve healthcare provider’s and patient’s knowledge of treatment plans. It includes updated references of all prescribed and administered medications for posterity. Through medication safety standards, physicians are now gain a succinct and in-depth understanding of ailments plaguing patients. This warrants accurate diagnoses of patient’s conditions and alternative treatments that can be employed in case of complications involving prescribed medications. Similarly, medication safety standards put all relevant conditions under consideration to ascertain appropriate treatment and route of administration. It also underscores high-alert medications such as intravenous oxytocin within the healthcare setting and the potential risk posed by errors (Merry, 2016). Medication safety also outlines steps that should be followed during the administration of medicine and considerations that should be made when seeking to continue treatment. It also advocates for patient education regarding the need for a specific treatment regimen involving precise medication. Any emerging need for the introduction of changes is also communicated to the patient in question to focus on elements bound to aid recuperation and recovery. Medication safety standards also provide a framework outlining best practices that should be applied to avoid. One of the most common techniques involves providing legible orders with constituent components. The conditions under which it should be administered should also be provided to reduce the risk of medical errors. Po re nata medication orders should also be accompanied by reasons for prescribing them to prevent the administration of similar-sounding medications.
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How Medication Safety Standards Promotes Competent Nursing
Medication safety standards are implemented with the primary intention of preventing grave errors while promoting competent nursing. To assure patients of their wellbeing, healthcare facilities only allow accredited nurses to prescribe and administer medication. This has the desired effect of reducing cases of medical errors by relying on proficient clinicians to offer health services to patients. Nurses also adopt essential approaches bound to improve their professional skills. These may include limiting verbal medication orders to exigent scenarios where electronic medication orders are not viable. Through this technique, nurses hone their skills and accuracy in relation to the provision of medication to prevent incongruities. Medication safety standards also provide directions on how to avoid interruptions at the workplace. This allows nurses to develop an advanced level of teamwork where all members coordinate their activities during the preparation of medications while minimizing interruptions. Medications safety standards foster the application of technological advancements to prevent errors. It offers nurses a unique opportunity to become well-versed in certified electronic health (EHR) technology thus improving their technical skills (Medicine et al., 2011, p. 45). This is further supported by healthcare facilities that offer bonuses to staff members with a descent grasp of EHR technology, inadvertently apply medication safety standards to promote competent nursing.
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The introduction of medication safety standards now allows nurses to participate directly in the decision-making process while promoting patient education. Time and again, nurses have played a secondary role within the healthcare setting. However, medication safety standards are now responsible for elevating nurse’s position and now a major element of the decision-making mechanism in healthcare facilities. Nurses are tasked with patient education and confirming that they fully comprehend their medical condition and prescribed medication. In the process, they learn how best to engage patients within a clinical setting which eventually makes them expert practitioners. Clinicians also take this opportunity to improve their knowledge of the wide range of medications available since patients are likely to pose questions when seeking clarification (Twigg et al., 2013, p. 541).
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Furthermore, they are also educated on aspects of quality improvement with the aim of acquiring additional medication management skills. Nurses also improve their assessment skills by adhering to provisions provided by medication safety standards. They are required to conduct an evaluation of current medication orders, history and treatment plan to determine the most suitable method of intervention. It is also through this process that clinical governance is integrated, allowing nurses to apply organization-wide systems during medication management. Skills obtained during this stage eventually become crucial during quality improvements while having an innate ability to partner with consumers. Nurses also develop contingency measures to respond to dire medicine-related incidents which may cause harm to patients.
Research and the Development of Safety and Quality in Health Care Standards
Research entails the systematic review of relevant resources to arrive at an informed conclusion. The development of precise healthcare standards based on research is at the crux of clinical governance systems. Policymakers have, therefore, been known to conduct extensive research with the aim of identifying specific concerns within the care industry and improve health service performance. Research is also crucial in influencing leaders within a clinical setting to clamor for full implementation of healthcare standards to improve the quality of care and performance of the workforce. Clinical experts tasked with the development of healthcare standards also rely upon research to shape the organizational culture of facilities and organizations within the industry with the aim of ensuring that professionalism is always espoused (Holly et al., 2011, p. 23). Research has also played a major role in determining necessary changes to be applied to existing policies based on their efficacy. Furthermore, it also aids clinicians in governance to make sound decisions based on specific managerial priorities. The promotion of appropriate relationships within the healthcare setting is also based on extensive research on the significance of collaboration between leaders, stakeholders, clinicians and patients in improving outcomes. Research informs major resolutions that are to be made within a healthcare organization which makes certain that practitioners are confident of the choices made while constantly improving service.
Research has also been responsible for the identification of high-quality healthcare practices such as medication safety and its instrumental nature. By focusing on the integrated nature of services within the healthcare setting, appropriate standards are crafted with the consumer’s wellbeing in mind. The application of health service standards based on research ultimately ensures that care providers are accountable to patients by assuring them of safe, continuous and quality accredited services. Additionally, it also assures the community of delivery of evaluated services that have been thoroughly appraised before application. Standards originating from research guide leader’s actions by updating and reminding them of their role in upholding safety and quality. Research has also proved essential in the development a risk management approach guiding the implementation of healthcare protocols and service standards for the sole purpose of compliance. It provides an applicable framework to inform quality improvement systems bound to exponentially improve strategies applied when providing healthcare services. Through research, policymakers are also accorded a unique opportunity to identify areas requiring immediate attention in the context of safety and quality to respond in a timely manner whenever required. Additionally, common pitfalls are also identified to aid healthcare organizations in pinpointing organizational risks related to a general failure to apply health service standards.
Purpose and Rationale for Development of Safety and Quality in Health Service Standards
The inclusion of safety and quality within the health care standards framework is a relatively recent phenomenon adopted within the past century. One of the primary purposes of this drastic improvement within the healthcare industry was to integrate governance to aid in effective management of patient’s quality of health. The application of health service standards is now instrumental in the review and evaluation of safety and quality, making sure the wellbeing of patients is always assured. The development of safety and quality in health service standards was also meant to allow monitoring by clinical governance in a bid to ensure that policies are executed to the letter. It also introduced the element of compliance within the sector with practitioners now required to comply with applicable regulations. Moreover, safety and quality in health service standards aim to improve the quality of existing systems by identifying operational anomalies detrimental to patient’s wellbeing. Their introduction also meant that appraisal could now be conducted on a continual basis. This ensures that top executives now have adequate time to draft reports on the performance of existing safety and quality systems. The goal of their implementation was also to identify common risks to the wellbeing of consumers using conclusive data to improve the quality of care provided.
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The rationale for the development of safety and quality in health service standards was based on the growing need for rapid and effective care within the sector. Health service standards now require facilities to possess aseptic infrastructure to improve patient outcomes. Also, its foundation was in the growing need for competent professionals capable of providing quality services to patients. For instance, safety and quality in health service standards has been hailed by originators of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHSS) for promoting acquiescence (“implementation of National Safety and Quality Standards in Australia’s health system,” 2015). It does this by utilizing evidence-based clinical interventions which use empirical data to advance clinical practices. The main focus of this framework is the need for safety within the care environment by providing services in a fashion that averts preventable injuries and medical errors. The rationale for the development of safety and quality in health service standards also relies on scientific knowledge to develop guidelines which can be applied at the right at the right time while reducing delays in the provision of care. This ensures that efficiency becomes a priority within the healthcare industry in a manner that maximizes available resources for the best outcome. It is noteworthy that health-service standards were developed using a people-centered approach catering to the needs of individuals within a particular setting.
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Safety and quality are increasingly becoming synonymous with health service standards within the medical sphere. Health service standards comprise invaluable codes which aim to assure patients of the safety and quality of health services provided. Research has played a central role in the development of health service standards by identifying specific concerns requiring swift action and improvement. The inclusion of safety and quality within the health care standards framework seeks to promote the effective management of patient’s wellbeing. Medication safety is one of the most protuberant health service standards with the aim of upholding safety and quality in health service standards. The rationale for its inclusion in health service standards offers a preview into the links shared with an attempt to reduce medical errors within the sector. Medication safety standards are now regarded as a positive development since they are now associated with professionalism while promoting competent nursing.
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