Communication and Patient Safety 10/02/2013 In nursing, communication is one of the most essential elements in ensuring that safety of patients has been achieved because without it, then the patient outcome rates will be considerably low.For many years, effective communication has been linked to the positive outcomes of patients…
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It has also been found that there is a decrease in the number of medical errors made concerning patients. Furthermore, adequate communication also has an impact on nurses because they become more motivated in their work, which increases their efficiency. This efficiency helps the patient as it improves the care that they are given, and this leads to the patient’s swift recovery. In addition, various factors influence communication between nurses and patients, one of the factors is the complexity of the hospital and nursing systems; thus, the larger and more complex they are, the higher the risk that the potential for patient errors will be increased. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that adequate communication between the various hospital systems is instituted so that the number of such errors can be reduced or done away with. Moreover, the value of care depends completely on the accuracy and completeness of information being available to the nurses who care for the patients. While this is important, it should be noted that the accuracy of the information becomes outdated over time and this is the reason why more, up to date information has to be collected to ensure that the caregivers provide the best service possible to the patient (Manojlovich, Antonakos and Ronis, 2009). On the other hand, Turkoski (2009) states that errors tend to occur when during the communication of a patient’s medication. This usually happens when there is a misinterpretation of the various abbreviations or acronyms to the drugs, which have been prescribed to the patient. This creates a situation where there is the potential of a patient taking the wrong drugs, taking the drugs at the wrong time of the day, or even worse, taking an overdose of the prescribed drugs. It is therefore necessary to ensure that errors in the writing down of instructions for the patient or caregiver are avoided and that the person writing the said instructions is alert at all times to the potential of making mistakes. Among the recommendations made in Turkoski’s article is that there must be a standardization of all the abbreviations and acronyms for the drugs used in the medical field so that there can be no confusion over the type of drugs that have been prescribed. It has been found that many drugs have similar names that may lead to the nurse giving the patient the wrong medicine. To prevent such incidences, it has been recommended that capital and small letters be used to differentiate the drugs with similar names to avoid confusion. This will work to ensure that there is uniformity in the communication of medication and this will ultimately promote the safety of the patients to whom the medication is prescribed. With uniformity in communication, the work of the nurses will become less cumbersome because they will be able to be accurate in their administration of medication. Frankel (2008) states that in many hospital systems, there is always a breakdown in communication, this isbecause the nursing staff is usually afraid to report errors because of the potential of being punished. This fear has made it difficult for errors to be corrected and has ensured that the outcome for patients is greatly diminished. The lack of adequate communication has created a scenario where nurses are not able to conduct their activities efficiently and this has come to have a devastating impact on the safety of the
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