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Insufficient Staffing and Medication Errors - Essay Example

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Project Objectives: In order to ensure patient safety, it is necessary to identify the frequency where nurses commit medication errors in relation to short staffing. This project aims to develop a strategy in which the health care system would be able to decrease the prevalence of medication errors dues to short staffing of health care providers, such as nurses…
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Insufficient Staffing and Medication Errors
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Download file to see previous pages Understanding the different factors affecting health care delivery to the patients should be analyzed in order to make sure its objectives are attained. One of the issues that healthcare systems should address in order to optimize its role in delivering quality health care to its patients is medication error. Medication error is any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate use of harm to a patient while medication is in control of the health care professional, patient or consumer. Such events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures and system including prescribing, order communication, administration, education, monitoring, and use. According to various studies concerning errors in patient medications, there are around 7,000 to 7,400 people in the United States who dies due to such form of negligence. Specifically in New York, there is approximately 1,400 people die every year or twenty percent of medical injuries are due to medication errors. Lawsuits have been filed across the United States health care system as a result of medication errors, which exposed the patients into dangerous situations that eventually cause the death of some patients. According to the National Law Journal, out of the 13 largest medical negligence lawsuits in the US in 2002, seven of these were in New York alone. The number of deaths from medication errors in the US per year is at least one death every day. In addition, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research found that a total of 1.3 million people are injured because of medication errors. Types of Medication errors Medication errors occur in different ways and at any degree. Medical negligence of this type may be made by any health care practitioner, from the nursing staff to the attending physicians. One type of medication error may be a misdiagnosis of a patient’s illness identified as a diagnostic error. A mistake as complicated as this, may result to more serious problems when made. Misdiagnosis could result to recommending an incorrect choice of therapy to the patient that would further injure them. Failure to use an indicated diagnostic test is also a result of diagnostic error that may cause a patient’s illness to become worse and very serious. Test results may also be misinterpreted due to an error in diagnosis. Patients suffer the consequences of not being able to get the right treatment to their illnesses when such diagnostic error happens. In addition, when patients are misdiagnosed, medical staff may not be able to correctly handle abnormal situations that are brought about by the patient’s illness or disease. Equipment failure is another form of medication error that is classified under this category. Some examples of this are dead batteries in defibrillators and easily dislodged or bumped valves of intravenous pumps. When such conditions are unnoticed, patients may have increased doses of medication over a short period of time that may be too dangerous, worse, fatal to the. Physicians are not spared in committing medication errors as well. The same thing goes with the nurses. Their roles require them to be in close contact with the patients. While physicians prescribe the medications or recommend the proper treatment necessary for the patients, the nurses are those who implement them. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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