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Capella 4000 Assessment 4

Capella 4000 Assessment 4 Analyzing a Current Health Care Issue

Student Name

Capella University

NHS-FPX 4000 Developing a Health Care Perspective

Prof. Name

Date

Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue

In the intricate realm of healthcare, ensuring patient safety and delivering optimal care are paramount. An area that demands immediate attention and reform is medication errors, given their potential for severe consequences. Such errors, born out of oversights during medication prescription, dispensing, and administration, can lead to undesirable outcomes, tarnishing the trust in healthcare systems and affecting patients’ overall well-being. This examination delves into the intricacies of medication errors, utilizing scholarly information to shed light on its causes, consequences, and potential solutions.

Using Scholarly Information to Understand a Health Care Problem

Medication errors in hospitals and clinics have become a pressing healthcare issue. These errors encompass mistakes made while prescribing, dispensing, and administering medications. The detrimental implications of such errors are vast and varied, often resulting in harmful consequences for patients. Notably, these mishaps have earned a reputation as significant threats to patient safety. The underlying causes of medication errors are multifaceted. Among these, miscommunication among healthcare professionals stands out as a primary culprit. This is compounded by ambiguous medication names, the utilization of confusing medical abbreviations, and more precise directions. Additionally, implementing poor procedures or techniques can further exacerbate the problem.

To delve deeper into this issue, I referred to several scholarly articles that comprehensively address the topic. Marufu et al. (2021) elaborated on the significant consequences of medication errors, shedding light on various preventive strategies. Roy et al. (2023) underscored the pivotal role of miscommunication among health professionals, emphasizing that such communication breakdowns significantly contribute to these errors. Additionally, Bourne et al. (2022) critically assessed the existing medication safety protocols, investigating their efficacy in mitigating medication errors. It is paramount to highlight that the credibility and relevance of the articles mentioned above are indisputable. Each comes from renowned medical journals, ensuring their authenticity and the value they bring. Collectively, they offer invaluable insights into the intricacies of medication errors, their origins, and potential prevention strategies.

Analysis of the Problem

Medication errors transpire predominantly within the confines of hospitals and clinics. These settings, where medications are prescribed and administered, become crucial zones where the risk is inherently magnified. To me, the magnitude of this problem hits close to home. As a stakeholder in the healthcare domain, our primary objective revolves around patient safety and ensuring optimal health outcomes. A misstep, like a medication error, is not merely an operational glitch; it has profound repercussions. It can precipitate a series of adverse medical events, prolong hospital stays, augment healthcare costs, and, tragically, in some instances, lead to irreversible health consequences or fatalities (Bourne et al., 2022).

Several demographics are at the receiving end of these medication blunders. At the forefront are patients, who bear the direct brunt of these errors. However, the ripple effects extend to healthcare providers, entangling them in legal and ethical conundrums. Pharmacists, often the last line of defense against such errors, are also scrutinized. Furthermore, hospital administrations confront reputational damages and potential financial liabilities. To encapsulate the severity of the issue, consider these real-life scenarios:

  • An elderly individual, already battling multiple health concerns, faces exacerbated health deterioration after being inadvertently administered double the prescribed dose due to a handwritten prescription’s ambiguity (Nagappa & Naik, 2022).
  • In another unsettling case, a mere miscalculation results in a child receiving an adult dosage, leading to a life-threatening situation, demanding immediate medical intervention (Kaufmann et al., 2022). These instances underscore the criticality of the issue and the imperative to institute robust checks and balances in the medication administration pipeline.

Potential Solutions

Digital Prescription and Medication Tracking System

A paramount solution that emerges in the context of medication errors is the transition from traditional methods of prescription and administration to a comprehensive digital prescription and medication tracking system. The genesis of this solution is intertwined with specific prerequisites. The initial phase requires a robust, secure, and user-friendly digital platform. Post this acquisition, an intricate phase of training and orientation beckons, ensuring that every healthcare professional, from prescribers to pharmacists, is adept at navigating this system. Additionally, regular audits would be indispensable to uphold the system’s integrity and ensure its continued efficacy. These audits would scrutinize the system’s efficiency, identify potential loopholes, and recommend necessary enhancements (Lindén-Lahti et al., 2022). Advantages encompass precision in tracking, a significant downturn in human-induced errors, and real-time notifications about potential drug interactions or allergies. Drawbacks include the substantial initial financial outlay required, resistance to technological change from seasoned professionals, and potential cyber threats or system downtimes (Holmgren et al., 2020).

Implementation of Standardized Protocols and Continuous Education

Another viable solution lies in establishing and enforcing standardized medication administration protocols and ongoing training for all healthcare professionals involved in the medication process. This approach focuses on unifying the methods, nomenclature, and procedures used across different departments and roles. Continuous education and periodic refresher courses would keep all staff updated on best practices. At the same time, simulations and drills would enhance preparedness, allowing for swift corrective action during real-life medication error events (Haleem et al., 2022).

This solution fosters a culture of continual learning and improvement, mitigating risks stemming from outdated knowledge or techniques. It also offers flexibility to be tailored to specific institutions and can be combined with other solutions for compounded benefits. Standardizing across diverse departments and staff can be challenging, especially in large healthcare setups. There is also the need for ongoing investment in training, both in terms of time and resources. Neglecting the issue of medication errors can result in heightened patient harm or fatalities, leading to lawsuits, financial strains, and diminished public trust in healthcare institutions (Nagappa & Naik, 2022).

Ethical Implication of Proposed Solutions

To implement this digital system, robust technological infrastructure, comprehensive training for healthcare professionals, and rigorous cybersecurity measures are essential to ensure patient data privacy and protection (Haleem et al., 2022). Delving into the ethical dimensions, the principle of beneficence resonates with the system’s intent to bolster patient safety. At the same time, nonmaleficence urges us to be circumspect, ensuring this digital transition does not inadvertently engender new challenges. Autonomy demands clarity for patients regarding medication data management in this digital paradigm, ensuring they grant informed consent. The principle of justice, meanwhile, emphasizes that this system must offer equitable access to all without bias towards any socioeconomic group (Bandari, 2023).

For the implementation of standardized protocols and continuous education, the necessities encompass establishing universally accepted protocols, ensuring continuous updates based on evidence-based practices, and fostering an inclusive environment for medical staff to contribute to these standards. Ethically, beneficence is realized when standardized protocols aim for superior patient outcomes. Nonmaleficence is catered to by ensuring these protocols are evidence-based, averting potential harm. Autonomy’s respect is mirrored when medical staff are included in protocol development, voicing their insights. The principle of justice dictates that, regardless of their backgrounds or locations, all patients should benefit uniformly from these standards, championing equitable healthcare (Haleem et al., 2022).

Conclusion

With their far-reaching implications, medication errors necessitate a proactive, informed, and comprehensive response. Scholarly insights validate the gravity of the issue and spotlight the essential role of technology in crafting potential solutions. As the healthcare landscape continuously evolves, it is paramount for stakeholders to remain vigilant, leveraging both technology and human expertise to mitigate errors. While not devoid of challenges, instituting a digital prescription and medication tracking system presents a viable solution to avert errors and enhance patient safety. By harmonizing technological advancements with ethical considerations, and healthcare providers can pave the way for a safer, more efficient medical future.

References

Bandari, V. (2023). Enterprise data security measures: A comparative review of effectiveness and risks across different industries and organization Types. International Journal of Business Intelligence and Big Data Analytics, 6(1), 1–11. https://research.tensorgate.org/index.php/IJBIBDA/article/view/3 

Bourne, R. S., Jennings, J. K., Panagioti, M., Hodkinson, A., Sutton, A., & Ashcroft, D. M. (2022). Medication-related interventions to improve medication safety and patient outcomes on transition from adult intensive care settings: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Quality & Safety. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjqs-2021-013760 

Haleem, A., Javaid, M., Pratap Singh, R., & Suman, R. (2022). Medical 4.0 technologies for healthcare: Features, capabilities, and applications. Internet of Things and Cyber-Physical Systems, 2, 12–30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iotcps.2022.04.001 

Holmgren, A. J., Botelho, A., & Brandt, A. M. (2020). History of prescription drug monitoring programs in the United States: Political appeal and public health efficacy. American Journal of Public Health, 110(8), 1191–1197. https://doi.org/10.2105/ajph.2020.305696 

Kaufmann, J., Engelhardt, T., Bittner, S., Eich, C., Flake, F., Hoffmann, F., Ittner, K., Jung, P., Klein, T., König, M. K., Krebs, M., Merbs, R., Mund, A., Neubert, A., Radinger, H., Rascher, W., Rebbert, J., Reifferscheid, F., Rösner, B., & Schwab, R. (2022). The German guidelines for medication safety in pediatric emergencies. Pediatric Anesthesia, 32(10), 1084–1090. https://doi.org/10.1111/pan.14524 

Capella 4000 Assessment 4

Lindén-Lahti, C., Kivivuori, S.-M., Lehtonen, L., & Schepel, L. (2022). Implementing a new electronic health record system in a university hospital: The effect on reported medication errors. Healthcare, 10(6), 1020. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10061020

Marufu, T. C., Bower, R., Hendron, E., & Manning, J. C. (2021). Nursing interventions to reduce medication errors in pediatrics and neonates: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 62(62). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2021.08.024 

Nagappa, A. N., & Naik, V. (2022). Patients: Gaps in knowledge, medication errors, and their impact on outcomes, quality of life, and cost of treatments. Perspectives in Pharmacy Practice, 39–57. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-9213-0_4 

Roy, P. S., Khottyal, D., & Jana, D. (2023). A review of medication errors in overweight and obese patients. World Journal of Biology Pharmacy and Health Sciences, 15(1), 113–130. https://doi.org/10.30574/wjbphs.2023.15.1.0296 

Capella 4000 Assessment 4