Critically discuss patient safety and quality assurance in relation to medication management by nursing staff
Abstract: One in every ten patients have experienced an adverse event while in a healthcare setting across the globe. The adverse event can occur as a result of a medication event, hospital acquired infection, surgical complication or due to a fall. As a result, the international focus is on healthcare policy reform, legislative changes and development of standards of care aimed at promoting patient safety and providing quality healthcare. This assignment focuses on patient safety in relation to medication management by nursing staff with emphasis on the nurses role within medication management, causes and preventive measures of medication errors, prevalence of error reporting and open disclosure and associated barriers. Nursing staff have a huge role to play in medication management and can be more prone to medications errors as they are usually the person administering the medication while working in busy environments. It was found that causes of medication errors were due to nurse fatigue and distraction, poor mathematical skills, pharmacological deficit of nurses, inadequate drug labelling and staff shortages. Medication errors can be prevented by adequate staff levels, an environment open to error reporting, continuing education in medication management, and distraction free zones. Barriers to error reporting are due to fear of reactions from staff and fear of disciplinary action. The assignment concludes that a systems approach allowing for non-punitive incident reporting of errors would be more effective at supporting patient safety as opposed to the current culture of individual blame. Also, nurses are responsible and accountable for maintaining competence towards medication management and should practice a more holistic view.