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It’s often been said that to eliminate medication errors in health care, we have to get five things right: the right medication, right patient, right dose, right route, and right time. Closed loop medication management is an example of a patient-centric technology, designed to protect patients from adverse drug events.
Yet, an increasingly popular approach to medication management is based on the idea that no technology should stand alone, but should integrate with all other steps in the medication process. To “close the loop” and eliminate gaps in the four steps above, technology is used to automate every part of the process and eliminate many of the most common types of errors.
American Sentinel University is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, DEAC (Formerly Distance Education and Training Council-DETC), which is listed by the U.S. American Sentinel's bachelor's and master's nursing education programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN, formerly NLNAC) has awarded accreditation to American Sentinel University's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program with specialty tracks in Executive Leadership and Educational Leadership. Use these free clip art images for your collections, school projects, website art and more. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Medication Administration : NEVCO National Educational Video, Medical training videos and CEU programs! ALF Policy & Procedure Manual For Self-Administration Of MedicatPolicies and Procedure Manual for assisting the patient with the self-administration of medication.
Policy & Procedure Manual For Self-Administration of MedicationPolicies and Procedure Manual for assisting the patient with the self-administration of medication. Prevention Of Medical ErrorsThe goal of this program is to promote safe drug administration by medical personnel, as well as by the layperson.
Prevention Of Medical Errors- East Meets WestThe goal of this program is to promote safe drug administration by medical personnel. HOW TO PREVENT MEDICATION ERRORS - RECOMMENDATIONS AND SAFETY TIPS– HOW TO PREVENT MEDICATION ERRORS U Unfortunately, medication errors occasionally occur. How To Prevent Medication Errors In Nursing - About 60% of medication errors are allegedly attributed to nurses.
How To Prevent Medication Errors In Nursing: 10 Steps - How to Prevent Medication Errors in Nursing. 5 Rights To Prevent Medication Errors In Nursing - Defining the five rights of medication administration can help new nurses prevent errors, as well as ensure the safety and wellness of your patients.. Hospitals’ Computerized Systems Proven To Prevent - Hospitals’ Computerized Systems Proven to Prevent Medication Errors, but More is Needed to Protect Patients from Harm or Death.
Medication Errors Related To Drugs - Food And Drug - FDA Drug Safety Communications for Drug Products Associated with Medication Errors.
That is what the monthly hospital employee newsletter, “Olympia Times” headline (Figure 1) read in November 2012 after years of struggling to move the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) patient satisfaction (CAHPS, 2013) scores at Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. During the Avatar International Annual Symposium in Orlando, Florida at the end of May, 2012, the Community Hospital of San Bernardino took away four of the “Most Improved” Awards for HCAHPS composite scores. In July the Olympia Medical Center Service Excellence Director woke to thoughts of HCAHPS struggles and decided to surprise the night shift staff and hold a meeting at night. The night shift went from giving all the reasons their scores would never improve in February 2012 to blowing the socks off everyone, including Avatar International eight months later (Figure 13).
There are many theories regarding what it will require to thrive in the changing environment healthcare is facing today.
Figure 3: Yacker Tracker, a device designed to sound an alert when the noise level exceeds defined limits.
Figure 4: Fishbone diagram of barriers to area around the patient room being quiet at night.
Figure 8: Pareto chart after the implementation of the frontline employee improvement team. Hospitals often invest in technology that helps to prevent errors at various points in the process – like the bar codes that nurses check at the bedside when administering a drug, for example.
It’s known as “closed loop medication management,” to reflect its focus on eliminating gaps in information and minimizing the opportunities for error when tasks are handed over to another department.
If you have a keen interest in health care informatics, you might want to consider a career specialization in this area.

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Hospitals and other health care organizations work to reduce medication errors by using technology, improving processes, zeroing in on errors .
This 204 bed community hospital was struggling with a number of the HCAHPS survey questions. Michelle Bowman, Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Director of Transformation, was instrumental in that hospital receiving the awards. The charge nurses were notified to send a nurse or certified nurse assistant to the 4 West conference room in 10 minutes.
The hospital stood to lose healthcare dollars if our patient satisfaction scores did not improve.
The “Quiet at Night” DPMO or defects per million opportunities went from 452,703 to 344,828. Physicians may inadvertently prescribe a drug that is inappropriate for a patient because of known allergies, potential drug interactions, or an existing medical condition like high blood pressure.
Errors of transcription occur at the pharmacy and generally involve illegible handwriting on a paper prescription. When pharmacy staff is busy or distracted, they may grab the wrong medication or dosage off the shelf or count pills incorrectly.
Errors at the bedside make up the second largest category of medication errors – between a quarter and a third, depending on the study being cited.
This tool is integrated with the EMR, so providers receive instant alerts regarding patient allergies or other potential safety issues. Pharmacists may fill orders manually or may rely on automated dispensing systems to eliminate counting errors. Barcodes and other bedside technologies help nurses ensure the right patient is receiving the right dose of the right medication.
Health care is in need of nurses who can analyze technologies from both the bedside and IT perspectives, to help create patient-centric tools. The HCAHPS survey question, “How often was the area around your room quiet at night?” scored lowest.
Televisions were loud, linen cart wheels were noisy, and doors that squeaked when opened were just a few of the issues leadership observed firsthand which were contributing to low scores. The plane barely came to a stop in Los Angeles when the Service Excellence Director at Olympia Medical Center was on the phone making an appointment to talk with Michelle to find out how she accomplished this.
For the period January 2011 to September 2012 the trend was statistically significant (Figure 5).
The director was advised that her heels were making too much noise and she needed to tiptoe.
The question for leaders today is why are we taking so long to adopt this leadership style? When they are working from memory, they may jot down the wrong dose or frequency – or even get the name of the drug wrong, since so many sound alike. Even when a prescription is written legibly, a busy pharmacist may enter it into the system incorrectly. It may also be considered a dispensing fault if the pharmacist fails to catch a known drug allergy or potential drug interaction. These occur anytime a patient gets the wrong drug or wrong dose, misses a dose, or is medicated at the wrong time. Ideally, nurses have access to all prescription and pharmacy information, as well as the patient’s clinical data, so they can speak up if they see a discrepancy that has slipped through the cracks.
An online MSN degree in nursing informatics is the perfect way to improve your knowledge, skills, and value to your organization. Specified period of time• Check last dose of medication given to patient.• Administer medication within 30 minutes of schedule. A 2006 report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academics says preventable medication errors harm .

For the first hospital pay-for-performance (CMS, 2011) period, July 2011 to March 2012, the percent of patients who answered “Always” was lower than the baseline period.
Instead of leadership fixing the problems a decision was made to place the solution in the hands of the charge nurses who work at night. They were briefed on why they were there, what their fellow team members accomplished the previous month and they brainstormed one more time about additional barriers and solutions.
Most businesses operate at a 3 Sigma the goal is 6 or higher (i Six Sigma, 2013) (Figure 12). Many studies have found that the majority of all medication errors (up to 50 percent) occur at the prescribing stage. American Sentinel University is an innovative, accredited provider of online nursing degrees.
The charge nurses were tasked with coming up with an action plan to improve the “Quiet at Night” scores.
Respiratory Therapy, Security, Environmental Services, Lab, Radiology and even the Emergency Department were expected to send representatives as well.
Some new issues were raised such as, the ER bringing admissions to the floors disturbing other sleeping patients, patients’ being disturbed by nursing staff and noise from Engineering and Security radios (Figure 4).
This night shift team had taken all the ideas they generated and implemented them throughout the hospital.
For the month of September, when the Olympia Times was printed, the night shift “Quiet at Night” score was ranked at the 95th percentile. As of Monday, February 11, 2012, the control chart is still trending upward for the 4th quarter of 2012. They initially seemed disappointed to hear how the night shift heroes didn’t require any sophisticated analysis. Why do healthcare leaders continue to hold meetings and exclude frontline employees rationalizing that they cannot spare point-of-service workers from productivity standards in exchange for results like this night shift team?
There were posters hung outside patient rooms (Figure 2), the Yacker Tracker (2013) (Figure 3) was implemented in one area to alert staff to high volume noise levels and others were reminding employees to be quiet.
When these results were presented at the Governing Board of Directors in December one of the members requested an example of the solutions. The percent of patients who answered “Always” to the “Quiet at Night” question is at 73 percent and this ranks Olympia Medical Center at the 91st percentile in the Avatar International database and the 90th percentile in the National HCAHPS database (CAHPS, 2011).
That this amazing night shift team took the information and the ideas they generated and made it happen. It makes sense that the Industrial Age leaders relied on traditional methods to improve outcomes, it was all that was known. It was time for the frontline, point-of-service employees to be given a chance to solve a problem on their own. One nurse suggested not putting vented patients in the area that leads to the Telemetry floor because the sound carries down the hallway.
Examples included greasing hinges on noisy doors, greasing the wheels on the linen carts and moving noisy patients away from alert patients.
Someone else asked if Environmental Service workers could empty trash in patient rooms before 9 p.m.
Thirty minutes into the meeting they agreed to take what they discussed back to their night shift team for additional suggestions. Rather than prioritizing the issues the night shift found and implemented solutions to all the problems independently. As a team, they set a deadline of one week to return additional ideas to the Service Excellence Director. Within 30 minutes of the meeting ending each team member had a copy of the barriers and ideas they generated.
Many team members followed through on their commitment to submit additional suggestions within one week. After one of the nursing directors attempted to submit additional suggestions she was informed the suggestions needed to come from the night shift.

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