Sample Essay Paper on Quality Improvement Project
While it is a common belief that people learn through their mistakes and it is only human to err in different aspects of life, it is equally unarguable that some mistakes prove to so fatal that they leave no space for recovery and the person feels he is at complete loss. Moreover there are still some mistakes that prove to be fatal not for the person who committed them but rather for another fellow being, which becomes quite distressing. These types of mistakes have no place in medical health services as this work comes with a lot of responsibility and commitment.
Nevertheless, medical field see a lot of untimely deaths because of such human errors resulting from carelessness and poor management. The area where such mistakes occur most frequently or are more prone to such mismanagement is medication area. Even if the staff is well versed on the five rights of medication safety it sometimes becomes impossible to check the five rights of dose, time, route, patient and medication without hindering the nursing workflow as keeping the software, scanner, meds and medication equipment at the bedside of the patient does hinder it.
It is notable that this mismanagement has been the cause of over 7,000 deaths annually. This perfectly avoidable tragedy needs to be addressed on immediate measures as it is causing immense public and economic loss.
As a responsible member of the staff it is our responsibility to participate and intervene in matters that can minimize any fatal mistakes in the future. For that reason it is proposed to buy medication carts with scanners to better facilitate the staff and ensure eradication of such fatal mistakes in the future.
These medication carts with scanners come with special software especially designed using barcode technology which makes sure that the staff responsible for administering medicines will perform the "five rights" check before proceeding ahead to oversee medications.
This highly efficient cart has the ability to access the patient's medication summary on the system from where a nurse would be able to scan the bar-coded medication and the patient's bar-coded ID band which will make the system check to be sure the right medication, with the right dose, the right time/date of administration in the right route is being given to the right patient. Furthermore there is an additional safety check over areas which are above and away from a nurse's visual check before supervision. To make this professional system workable this scanner cart is required to be at the patient’s bedside or easily portable with all the software, wireless barcode scanner, medication and supplies. Introduction of such moveable scanner carts can make this possible.
The old carts the hospital has are not enough for this thirty two bed hospital and the nurses find it difficult to maneuver them as they are big, heavy and not easily moveable. The most apparent advantage of the new carts is that they will maintain the new medication management workflow. The combination of the technology of a keyless entry, automatic locking medication cart with the portable working station, nurses will be provided with everything they need at their fingertips. This will not only save the patients from any possible medication errors or lapses but also save time of the nurses as they will not have to make countless trips from the patient to the cart and back again. As it will be possible to move the carts from one room to another easily which will result in increasing time spent at the bedside, hence high patient satisfaction.
Another advantage of having the auto-locking quality is that it makes it easier for the nurse to meet the federal and state requirements of keeping medication carts locked when not present. This feature comes in handy when a nurse gets called away from the cart for an emergency and she accidently leaves it unlocked, the cart’s auto-lock system will guarantee that the medications are kept safe.
But the most important and noteworthy feature of the new carts is their input for ensuring patient safety, which is the whole point of a well-organized trustworthy hospital. The carts will enable the hospital to employ the latest medication recording software that uses barcode technology. This software facilitates by providing safety checking before the administration of medications. But as it is obvious that the use of this tool is not possible if it is not easy by the nurses or it is interfering with competent patient care, but the high recommendations from the hospitals all over the country shows that it is an easy to use and highly recommendable tool for better medication without any possible errors as other institutions using similar technology confirmed raised nurse satisfaction up to 68%. Furthermore this use of carts will increase patient satisfaction as it is common perception of the patients that technology ensures increased safety which is being provided to him/her.
The use of such cart will also prove to have monetary benefit as it will result in decreased patient care costs with least medication errors account which previously led to considerable patient morbidity and death, as well as involvement in legal, operational, and patient care costs.
The cost of one such medication cart with the transfer technology is $7,100; however, since there are only twenty nurses on duty on our floor scheduled at a time for thirty two patients, the unit will only require ten carts. This will make the total initial cost of the medication carts to be $71,000. The new carts can be "swapped" for the old medication carts and put in use directly.
The additional initial cost of the new carts can be compensated by the increased benefits it provides in terms of eliminating any future mishaps that may lead to increased costs in the form of legal trials etc. Human beings, in all lines of work, make errors. Errors can be prevented by designing systems that make it hard for people to do the wrong thing and easy for people to do the right thing. So even if human beings, in all lines of work, make errors it is for them to prevent these errors by designing systems that facilitate in making it easy to do the right thing and hard for people to do the wrong thing.
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