Topic 1: Policy Implications of Patient Safety Standards and Practices
Read the case study number one, Moving to a Common Core Interprofessional Patient Safety Curriculum on page 254 in Health Policy and Politics: A Nurse’s Guide, by Milstead. Why is it important that health professionals share a common understanding of patient safety standards and practices? What are the policy implications from accepting that “mistakes are normal and all human err”? How would you approach health care systems leaders or employers about changing employment policies related to punitive actions when errors occur?
At least 250 words with 2 references/citations.
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Patient safety is a critical component of healthcare delivery, and it is paramount that health professionals share a common understanding of patient safety standards and practices. One crucial factor in ensuring patient safety is the acceptance that errors are normal and all human err, which has significant policy implications.
It is essential that health professionals share a common understanding of patient safety standards and practices because it ensures that there is consistency in the care delivered, regardless of the healthcare setting or the discipline of the healthcare professional. A standardised approach to patient safety ensures that healthcare providers work in tandem towards delivering a universal goal, which is to provide safe and high-quality patient care.
The policy implications of accepting that mistakes are normal and all human err are significant. It means that healthcare providers view mistakes as learning opportunities instead of singling out individuals and attaching punitive measures. It acknowledges that errors occur in complex healthcare systems and that healthcare providers operate in environments that pose significant challenges that can lead to mistakes. By accepting that errors are part of healthcare delivery, policymakers can focus on creating a safe environment that minimises harm to patients while facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration.
When approaching healthcare systems leaders or employers about changing employment policies related to punitive actions when errors occur, it is crucial to communicate the benefits of a non-punitive approach to patient safety. Healthcare providers tend to fear punitive measures, which can lead to under-reporting of incidents that can be used as learning opportunities. By adopting a non-punitive approach, healthcare providers will be encouraged to report errors, which will enable policymakers to identify potential root causes of errors and implement measures to minimise the likelihood of re-occurrence. It is necessary to engage all stakeholders from healthcare providers to policymakers in the adoption of a common approach to patient safety to ensure a consistent approach to patient care.
1. Kelly, D. L., & Wilkinson, S. (2012). Electronic health records: a nursing perspective. International Journal of Nursing Terminologies and Classifications, 23(2), 91-98.
2. Wachter, R. M. (2010). Patient safety at ten: unmistakable progress, troubling gaps. Health Affairs, 29(1), 165-173.