patient safety

2015 top patient safety concerns

Alarm hazards top the “Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations,” released by ECRI Institute. Data integrity and managing patient violence are second and third. Read more.

8 lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic

Clinical nurse specialists share experiences on how the pandemic and social distancing are highlighting the CNS role. The “new normal” resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the…

A lesson learned from an unlikely source

As I recall one of my first experiences as a safe patient handling (SPH) consultant, I’m reminded of an unlikely department that introduced me to workplace injury prevention…

AACN endorses white paper on medication reconciliation

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently endorsed a white paper that calls for system-wide programs for medication reconciliation — the process of verifying that current patient…

AHRQ releases new guide for patients

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a new guide to help hospitals better prepare patients to take care of themselves at home after they…

Anticholinergics: Adverse effects

Anticholinergics, widely used in clinical practice for an extensive range of diseases, exert effects on circulation, respiration, alertness, and vision by blocking the action of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter)…

AWHONN releases new staffing guidelines

The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) recently announced that it has published new perinatal nurse staffing guidelines to reflect the demands of providing care…

Benzodiazepines

Providers prescribe benzodiazepines (BZDs)—also known as anxiolytics, hypnotics, muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants, and amnestic medications—to manage several symptoms and conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, sedation, muscle spasms, agitation,…
biosimilars-lower-drug-costs-patients

Biosimilars: An alternative to biologics

Biosimilars may help lower drug costs for patients. Takeaways: Biologics and biosimilars are classes of drugs used to treat many complex conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, and…

Calculating I.V. drip rates with confidence

Do you sometimes have trouble remembering the equation you learned for calculating I.V. drip rates? This article presents a simplified equation that can make calculations quicker and easier…
elder nurse old age

Can a nurse be too old to work at the bedside?

Read guest blogger Donna Cardillo’s thought-provoking article about when age comes into play during a nurse’s career. A recent New York Times article begged the question, “How old…
_ChangeMaker_Leadership

Change maker

Dori Healey is passionate about patient safety, public service, and volunteering. President-elect for American Nurses Association (ANA)-Idaho, Dori Healey, MSN-RN, MBA-HA, CPPS, takes every opportunity to advance the…

Combat healthcare untruths with community outreach

When confronted with false or misleading information, nurses sometimes find themselves in challenging conversations with patients and families, which may disrupt their ability to provide safe, high-quality care.…
consistent quality communication

Consistent, quality communication

Nurses help lead efforts on safe patient handoffs and transfers Note: This is the first of two articles in a series looking at nurses’ contributions in addressing patient…
Courage

Courage in everyday nursing practice

Courage is an important attribute in life and in your nursing practice. As Helen Keller said, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature nor…

Creating a nursing dream team

Teamwork is fundamental to successful nursing care. But many nursing teams struggle with poor communication, lack of confidence in fellow team members, lack of unity around shared goals,…
critical care skin ant

Critical care of the skin

Two-person skin assessment builds a foundation for pressure injury prevention. Takeaways: Pressure injury (PI) care bundles help to reduce variations in care and improve outcomes. PI care bundles…

Deafblindness and health advocacy

Patients with moderate-to-severe visual and hearing impairments (deafblindness) need their nurses to understand their needs and provide safe care. Nurses have fundamental knowledge about caring for patients with…

Documentation: You’ve got a lot to lose

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, fraud is “the intentional deception or misrepresentation made by a person with the knowledge that the deception could result…

Dodging a trach tragedy

When a patient’s O2 Sat falls and subcutaneous neck edema arises, adroit troubleshooting identifies the cause.
health safety environment musculoskeletal disorder nurse

Environment, health and safety

ANA has been very concerned with and involved in the issue of ergonomic hazards as a health and safety concern in the workplace. Musculoskeletal injuries resulting from patient…
errors care bottom line

Errors, care, and the bottom line

Try a mock survey to ensure patient safety. PRESIDENT Calvin Coolidge once said, “The chief business of the American people is business,” but that was decades ago. Now,…

Ethical Issues in Healthcare

High ethical standards are essential in healthcare. Four fundamental principles lay the foundation for healthcare ethics. Autonomy honors patients’ right to make their own decisions. Beneficence helps patients advance their…

Falling forward: Why is it so hard?

  Yes, I’m talking about falls here! Why is it so hard to take what we KNOW, and make it what we DO? We know best practices, we…
first last line defense

First and last line of defense

Nurses are crucial to ensuring the safety of patients and the public. NURSES want every interaction with every patient to be safe, whether we’re administering a medication or performing…
slow steady wins safety rush procedure

From our readers…Three elephants for safety

A familiar safety protocol in hospitals is the time-out. Mandated for many invasive procedures, this “work stop” ensures the right site, right procedure, and right patient are verified…
work environment steady good better karen daley nurse ana

From your ANA President

Registered nurses spend a great deal of their time working. A full-time nurse may spend in the neighborhood of 59,000 hours on the job, if not more, in…
patients moving

Get your patients moving— now!

To keep patients on the move, healthcare professionals need to make planned mobility a priority intervention. Progressive mobility (also known as early mobilization) starts slowly and moves the patient…

Hardwiring safety at the point of care

An organizational road map to gait belt use. Safe patient handling training for nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and nurse aides should include the use of transfer aids,…
dirty cellphone

How dirty is your cellphone?

You wash your hands…maybe you should clean your phone PATIENT SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK is March 10-16, 2019. Are you aware of these facts? Preventable medical errors are the…

How reliable is your bedside shift report?

A large healthcare system shares its model for success. Takeaways:  Traditional bedside shift reporting may not focus on specific patient safety prevention methods.  An enhanced assessment can include…

How to achieve success in quality improvement

To achieve sustained improvement in patient outcomes, create a work environment that promotes a commitment to excellence and examine NDNQI data on your organization’s current performance level.

Huddle up for patient safety

You have received report on your patients and are starting your shift on a busy medical-surgical unit. To help control your workflow and manage your time more effectively,…

Improving health care with systems thinking

We strive to reach the theoretical goal of perfect patient care. But is defect-free health care possible? Or are avoidable deaths from preventable errors inevitable? Sociologist and organizational theorist Charles Perrow describes…
improving patient safety care

Improving patient safety wherever care occurs

Nurses, providers, and pharmacists collaborate to improve patient safety. By Lillee Gelinas, MSN, RN, CPPS, FAAN Patient safety is critical to quality care. Since the publication of the…

Insulin injection and changing injury trends

A lot can change in healthcare over 5 years, including advancements in precise and early diagnosis of disease, treatment options, expansion of outpatient and pharmacy services, robotics for…

Intimate partner violence

The World Health Organization describes intimate partner violence (IPV) as “behavior by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual…
Patient safety

Keeping a grasp on patient safety

In any organization, keeping both patients and caregivers safe during patient mobilization is a priority. As patient advocates, nurses share responsibility for maintaining optimal patient health. Although healthcare…

Let’s huddle up

Tiered huddles, brief conversations that occur throughout levels of an organization or across health systems, move up and back down the organizational structure to improve patient safety, communication,…
clinic senior sensitive

Make your clinic more senior sensitive

Are you prepared to care for your aging patients? Takeaways: Specific needs of older patients can affect the clinic schedule. Preparing your clinic to care for older patients…
Medication errors Best Practices

Medication errors: Best Practices

A medication error can occur in any healthcare setting-with devastating consequences. The authors describe weaknesses in the key elements of medication use and propose ways to make drug…

Minimize medication errors in urgent care clinics

Establish a culture of patient safety. Takeaways: The number of patients seen in urgent care clinics can present unique medication administration challenges. Reducing errors requires a culture of…

National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety released

The American Nurses Association (ANA) joined with the other members of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)–convened National Steering Committee for Patient Safety to announce the release of…

New report reaffirms old concerns

In a new report, The National Toxicology Program (NTP) expressed ”serious concern” that diethylhexyl-phthalate (DEHP), a chemical used in medical devices, may affect male reproductive tract development and…

NQF endorses more patient safety measures

The National Quality Forum (NQF) Board of Directors has endorsed 12 patient safety measures, including those related to patient falls, pressure ulcers, and healthcare-associated infections. The measures were…
PPE

Our safety is your safety

When I texted my daughter’s best friend (who is like a daughter to me), I discovered that she was given only two masks for an entire week as…
patient acuity tool medical surgical unit ant

Patient acuity tool on a medical-surgical unit

Use a tool for consistent, objective, and quantifiable patient assignments. Takeaways: Patient assignments can lead to dissatisfaction among nursing staff, especially when they’re not consistent, objective, and quantifiable.…

Patient safety awareness

How do we create a mindset focused on safety? Patient Safety Awareness Week is March 14-20. Its importance can’t be emphasized enough. In addition to the high mortality…
patient safety awareness week

Patient Safety Awareness Week

Shining a light on a public health crisis Each year, an important event is nationally recognized but frequently overshadowed by our busy lives: Patient Safety Awareness Week. Seven…
preventing harm

Preventing harm

Reporting, recognition, and just culture can make a difference Editor’s note: This article is the second in a two-part series on patient safety. Access part 1 at americannursetoday.…
Preventing polypharmacy in older adults

Preventing polypharmacy in older adults

Polypharmacy refers to the effects of taking multiple medications concurrently to manage coexisting health problems, such as diabetes and hypertension. Too often, polypharmacy becomes problematic, such as when…

Protect yourself and your patients with vaccination

Why is immunization so crucial for nurses? Which vaccinations should all nurses get? Find out with this educational handout focusing on national efforts to reduce vaccine-preventable disease through…

Putting an end to patient overcrowding

Serious patient-flow problems call for more than just quick fixes. In some facilities, the culture must be transformed before patient bottlenecks can be banished. Read about one hospital’s…
quality improvement daily checklist

Quality improvement: A structured daily checklist

Communication and collaboration improve care Takeaways: Patient safety is a key quality indicator for healthcare organizations. A medical-surgical geriatric unit developed a checklist to be used during interprofessional…

Rehabilitation and patient injuries

Dear Editor: The elderly population are admitted to rehabilitation facilities after sustaining many different types of injuries and incidents such as falls, fractures, burns, or malnutrition at alarming…
Dealing with difficult people

Responding to a sentinel event

Sentinel events happen even in the best hospitals. Do you know what these events are and how to handle them?

Safe lifting: The assessment imperative

If you lift or transfer patients, make “Assess first, lift later” your motto. Find out which critical patient and ergonomic factors you must evaluate before starting any patient-handling…

Safe patient handling: The process program

Although safe patient handling (SPH) programs are designed to reduce employee injuries related to manual patient lifting and repositioning, many programs are limited to being marginally effective at…
safety culture journey

Safety culture: A journey to zero

Interprofessional collaboration drives culture change. Takeaways: To effectively eradicate serious patient harm, an organization needs to aspire to be a high-reliability organization (HRO) by cultivating and sustaining a…

Self-releasing alarm belts: It takes two

Patient falls from chairs are increasing at an alarming rate: What can a hospital’s nursing staff do to stop this trend? That was the challenge faced by unit leaders…
smart-pumps-smart-management-safe-patients

Smart pumps, smart management, safe patients

When organizations and clinicians team up, patients are protected.  Takeaways: Medication administration errors continue to occur due to mistakes in smart electronic infusion pump setup, programming, and clinical…

Staggering number of alarms identified

A study in PLOS ONE found more than 2.5 million patient monitoring alarms in one month in one hospital. Many were caused by a complex interplay of inappropriate…

Standardizing handoff communication

An electronic tool helps ensure care continuity and reduces miscommunication. Takeaways: Using a standardized electronic handoff tool improves nurse-to-nurse communication. It ensures care continuity and reduces adverse events.…

Study identifies barriers to patient safety

A study by AIG of hospital C-suite executives and risk managers in the United States found that the largest barrier to patient safety is lack of teamwork, negative…

Study shows California staffing ratios saves lives

A new study finds that California mandatory nurse-patient ratios save lives. Read more at http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/content/NRS-249784/Better-NursePatient-Ratios-Could-Save-Thousands-of-Lives-Annually-Says-Study.

Take Note – August 2008

Web exclusive! A monthly round-up of clinical and practice news and alerts at www.AmericanNurseToday.com

Team-based approach to behavioral health emergencies

Pre-defined roles and training can help address disruptive client incidents. Takeaways: Few hospitals have a formal plan to address combative clients. REACT (Rapport, Escort, Antipsychotics/anxiolytics, Communicate, Times) is…
unique device identifier nursing

The unique device identifier and nursing

What you need to know for reporting and patient safety TO PROMOTE patient health and safety, nurses need to learn about and incorporate activities related to medical devices’…

Transport teams and patient handoff reports

Patient safety requires complete communication. Takeaways: To protect patients, referring organizations, and transport professionals, a patient care report suitable to the scope of practice of the transport professional…

Understanding MCS

More research is needed to increase our understanding of multiple chemical sensitivity.

Unplanned Extubation: Eliminating preventable deaths

Know the risk factors and take steps to prevent harm. Takeaways: Unplanned extubations (UEs) can be reduced through the implementation of standardization of best practices, policies and procedures…

What’s new in SPHM

ANA’s revised safe patient handling and mobility standards are coming soon. (more…)

Working-out or lifting patients

As I prepare for my evening workout at the gym today, it’s more than likely that I will use weights greater than 35 pounds when performing various exercises.…

Your injury, your fault?

Ok, so let’s be honest, you were injured on your nursing job because you didn’t follow proper procedural techniques right? I mean, you’ve been taught how to lift,…

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