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The Effects of “To Err Is Human” in Nursing Practice Essay

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Updated: Oct 25th, 2020

Response to the Statement

All human beings make mistakes, and this fact cannot be avoided. However, in the framework of healthcare, errors can lead to adverse health consequences and even death. That is why professionals tend to do their best to overcome this problem. Wakefield (2008) states that “the most significant barrier to improving patient safety identified in “To Err Is Human” is a lack of awareness of the extent to which errors occur daily in all health care settings and organizations” (Wakefield, 2008, p. 1).

This consideration can be true to life because both healthcare professionals and the representatives of the general public tend to pay attention only to those medical mistakes that lead to deaths or severe complications. Moreover, some professionals do not report errors even if they happen because they are afraid of associated punishment. However, it is significant to consider also those errors that remain unnoticed because their influence was indirect or a patient had no relatives who would like to have this issue discussed.

Application of Simple Rules

To reduce the number of medical errors, healthcare systems start using information technology, as it provides an opportunity to minimalize the possibility of human error. My current organization also uses advances in technology and tries to implement new rules for care identified by Wakefield (2008). Unfortunately, my colleagues still focus on care that is controlled by professionals because they believe that clients lack knowledge and experience that can give them an opportunity to make the right decisions.

In this way, providers tend to convince their patients to follow their advice even if they contradict their beliefs and desires. My colleagues tend to claim that their clients often use the Internet as the major source of information, believing that providers know less than it can be found online. Nevertheless, professionals make their decisions focusing on evidence-based practice instead of thinking only about information obtained due to training or personal experience (American Nurses Association, 2015).

As a result, my colleagues manage to provide high-quality care even if they deal with those patients or diseases that are not familiar to them. Transition to this new healthcare rule was not difficult to maintain because the majority of professionals were eager to use the best current evidence when treating patients. I believe that with the course of time, my organization will be able to transit to all new rules identified by Wakefield (2008).

Information Technology and Patient Safety

According to the “To Err Is Human,” patient safety can be improved significantly if information technology is used by the organization regularly. For instance, it can enhance access to clinical guidelines that reveal how professionals should act to provide high-quality care. Following the step by step, healthcare personnel can minimalize medical errors. In addition to that, technologies make it easier to share information. For instance, the use of the electronic medical record allows all significant patient information even if he/she was treated in another healthcare facility previously. Bar-coded medication administration, in its turn, reduces the possibility of medical error, as it can reveal if a wrong patient was scanned.

Improvement of Healthcare in My Organization

All in all, informatics made it possible to enhance the quality of provided healthcare services in my organization. With its help, cooperation between clinicians increased significantly, and it became easier to address a patient’s needs. Access to the best evidence is simplified, and professionals started using it frequently (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018). The development of shared knowledge made it possible to improve the performance of all providers. Nevertheless, growth is still needed, and continuous healing relationships with clients should be established. Customization of provided services and transparency should be ensured with the course of time.

References

American Nurses Association. (2015). Nursing informatics: Scope & standards of practice (2nd ed.). Silver Springs, MD: Author.

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2018). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Wakefield, M. (2008). Patient safety and quality: An evidence-based handbook for nurses. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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