Nurses hold special significance in the healthcare sector as they have to fulfill different duties, from keeping an eye on patients’ conditions to maintaining their medical records. The lives of many patients are dependent on nurses, which means they have no room for error. A slight mistake or error of judgment can put the patient’s life in danger, so nurses have to upskill themselves to bring competence and perfection in their work.
Most nursing medication errors are related to incorrect drugs and dosages or failure to properly administer medication. Unfortunately, such mistakes are not rare as statistical study shows that one in ten patient experienced harmful effects due to incompetence or negligence of nurses. The study also shows that patients died due to such errors. It is crucial to introduce practices that can prevent nursing errors in the current healthcare landscape. It will improve the quality of healthcare.
Without further ado, let’s find out how mediation errors in nursing can be avoided.
Follow Medication Administration Rights
To minimize the risks of errors, it is important to ensure that nurses follow the five rights of medication administration. It includes the right patient, right dosage, right drug, right time, and right route.
When nurses are given the right training and awareness about medication administration rights, it helps healthcare organizations to avoid legal claims. Instances of medical negligence such as those involving cerebral palsy malpractice damage the reputation of any healthcare organization. Additionally, you can face legal action that will raise questions on your organization’s credibility. So, to avoid such disastrous situations, it is better to train nurses beforehand as per the standards of medication administration rights.
Ensure Medication Reconciliation Procedures
Healthcare institutions must have a proper system in place for medication reconciliation when patients are transferred to another institution or ward. Nurses should verify the medication by reviewing it to ensure that it should be given to the correct patient with the right dosage, time, and route.
Nurses should maintain medication administration records every time patients are transferred to their units. Also, they should verify these records from the manager of discharging unit, doctor, and family members of the patients. It will leave no chances of errors due to improper reconciliation.
Always Double Check the Procedures
It is important to implement rules and regulations that can force nurses to always double-check the procedures. It plays a key role in minimizing the risks of errors. It should be mandatory for all nurses to review everything after joining the shift, including the patient’s medication and physician’s order.
When treatment administration or medical administration records are evaluated two to three times, there will be no room for error. It will positively impact the patient care and overall performance of nurses.
Maintain Proper Documentation
It is better to document everything properly to keep track of everything transparently and identify mistakes. Keeping everything documented is a must, from medication labeling to medication records to legible documentation. One of the major causes of medication errors is the lack of proper documentation. If a nurse forgets to document the required medication, then the wrong medication or dosage can be given to the patient. So, it would be better to assign duties to the nurses who can professionally maintain documents.
The best practice is to check the patient’s medical records before giving a certain dosage or medication. Also, nurses should check the expiration date and prescription label of the medication to ensure everything is fine. In this digital age, the maintenance of documents is not an issue.
Ensure Proper Medications Storage
Another way to prevent medical negligence in nursing is to ensure the proper storage of medicines. Nurses should have a clear idea of which medications should be kept in the refrigerator and kept at the normal room temperature.
The proper medication storage keeps the medicine in the perfect form and maintains its effectiveness. If medication is not maintained properly, how can you expect it to produce the desired medical results? Nurses need to be aware of the mediation storage practices to avoid any mishap. A wrong medicine dosage to a particular patient could even result in extreme reactions or even death.
Awareness of Institution’s Policies and Guidelines
To reduce medication errors, nurses must be aware of the medication policy of the organization they are working at. Training and education hold special significance, so it is pertinent that the education department of every healthcare organization should educate their nurses.
Also, it is essential to conduct training programs and sessions regularly to keep nurses updated about the change in medication policies. These policies contain a wide range of information related to medical regulations and standards, from medical transcription to administration. Once nurses are familiar with these guidelines, they can modify their nursing tactics accordingly. It is recommended that every nurse participates in the training sessions to upgrade its skill and knowledge, which will help them take good care of the patients.
Provide Drug Guide to Nurses
Nurses should be given access to drug guides that contain valuable information related to medications. From nursing considerations to side effects of drugs, generic drugs names to essential cautionary, these guides consist of useful medical information. It also gives an idea to nurses that what type of diet should be given to patients along with specific medications.
All healthcare organizations must have drug guides with clear guidelines to help nurses avoid any confusion while dealing with patients. It will mitigate the risk of errors that will result in better patient care.
Nurses are liable for many precious lives, so they have to take the right precautions to avoid any fatal outcome. Healthcare organizations have to play a huge role in this regard as they have to introduce policies and practices that can reduce medication errors. From document maintenance to following dedicated administration rights, the healthcare institutes have to play their part in improving patient care and preventing medication errors in nursing. Also, nurses should keep themselves updated about the latest healthcare and nursing trends to enhance their skillset.
Hope this article be of great help to you.