There are numerous solutions and strategies developed by various organizations in addressing the issue of patient safety. For example, the US Medicare system has opted to address the issue via implementing a policy change which Medicare will no longer pay for “hospitals to retrieve objects, such as sponges or surgical tools, left in patients after surgery, or to treat problems arising from air embolisms or incompatible blood transfusions.
Nor will it pay the additional costs of treating bedsores developed while in the hospital, injuries caused by hospital falls, or infections arising from prolonged use of urinary and vascular catheters or after coronary artery bypass surgery” (Brooks, 2007). The policy change was made in conjunction with a 3-year effort to improve the delivery of care for elderly and disabled Americans. The policy change discourages hospitals from committing “8 preventable medical errors caused by their own negligence” and encourages an institution to become more diligent in providing its services (Brooks, 2007).
In our organization, the Riverside Community Hospital, the organization adopted a strategy that is also widely adopted by various other institutions: an electronic, integrated health care information system. The underlying motivation behind the utilization of the said form of technology is in its offer of heightened efficiency and increased coordination of healthcare information which is crucial in the delivery of a continuous and effective treatment.
The Riverside Community Hospital utilizes the MEDITECH Integrated HCIS whose components work together in increasing patient safety, automating manual processes, and improving communication across the care continuum. The system offers such features as MEDITECH Pharmacy which enables pharmacists to perform activities efficiently, effectively and also allows for a reduction on clinical errors with its intelligent warnings, messages, and rejection notices.
MEDITECH ensures patient safety by notifying users of medication issues and errors with warnings, messages, and communication notices. The patient-safety feature includes: • Automatic dose, medication, and condition/disease safety checks • Additional dosing checks based on maximum dose (independent of patient size), as well as condition, age, and gender, thereby preventing overdose errors • Allergy and adverse drug reaction information, which is maintained across visits and used to perform safety checks during medication ordering and administration
• Checks for drug interactions, incompatibilities, and duplicate medication orders • Ability to use rules-based logic when ordering, dosing, filling, and refilling medications to supply additional warnings, flags, and messages throughout the system, thereby improving clinical-decision making. (Meditech, 2009). References Amalberti, R. Auroy, Y. , Berwick, D. and Barach, P. (2005). Five System Barriers to Achieving Ultrasafe Health Care. Annals of Internal Medicine 142 (9), pg. 756.
Retrieved August 24, 2008 from ProQuest. Brooks, J. (2007). US Medicare will stop paying for preventable errors. Canadian Medical Association. Journal, 177(8), 841-2. Retrieved August 24, 2008, from ProQuest.. Institute of Medicine. (1999). To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Retrieved August 24, 2008, from www. iom. edu/Object. File/Master/4/117/ToErr-8pager. pdf Meditech. (10 March 2009). MEDITECH integrated HCIS. www. meditech.
com. Retrieved March 10, 2009 from http://www. meditech. com/ProductBriefs/pages/producthcis. htm University of California at San Francisco–Stanford University Evidence-based Practice Center. (2001). Making health care safer: A critical analysis of patient safety practices. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved March 10, 2009 from http://www. ahrq. gov/CLI-NIC/ptsafety/pdf/ptsafety. pdf