February 26, 2017

Homework Help: Reseach paper revised

Posted by Grace on Monday, July 21, 2008 at 8:37am.

I was wondering if my paper sounds ok or would it be better if I had more sources thanks

Patient safety and promotion of zero medication error are common goals in every health-care institution. One of the policies that answer the said goals is the "do not" use abbreviation. JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) provides institutions with a list of dangerous abbreviations that should be avoided in clinical documentation. Moreover, the Institute for Safe Medication Practice also promotes the consistent application of not using specified abbreviations to prevent errors. The policy recommends not using abbreviations, symbols and acronyms in medical communication. According to ISMP, abbreviations should never be used in "internal external communication, telephone/verbal prescriptions, computer generated labels, labels for drug storage bins, medication administration records, as well as pharmacy and prescriber computer order entry screens."

The use of the said policy is of great advantage to the health-care system. First and foremost, it ensures patient safety because of the prevention of errors. Secondly, it promotes safe and efficient communication between the health care team. Studies have shown that the use of abbreviations/acronyms or symbols in medical communication had been one of the reasons for medication errors. Commonly, abbreviations are misinterpreted; that leads to unsafe health practice.

Aside from the available policy from the JCAHO, an extensive written policy regarding the said issue should be researched and accomplished. Corresponding sanctions should also be created if the policy is not followed. An extensive policy will result in better outcomes.

Furthermore, the “do not use abbreviation “policy is not enough to prevent medication errors. Along with the use of the policy, proper information dissemination and adequate education of the health care members should be enhanced. I strongly believe that posting the list of the said abbreviations in nursing units, bulletin boards and the internet is not enough to fully stop errors. Provision of teachings and ensuring that all medical staff are fully oriented and are following the policy are ways to prevent errors due to usage of abbreviations. Also, regular evaluation of the adherence to the policy should also be done. Memos should be given to medical members not following the policy. Strict application of the policy should be implemented so as to prevent lapses in the adherence to the policy.

The JCAHO and the ISMP have taken the big step to reduce errors caused by the use of abbreviations, symbols and acronyms. However, it is important that proper education be given to the health- care members and frequent evaluation be done. Additionally, it is also a responsibility of the health team to strictly adhere to the policy. Since the policy was started, it is also recommended that a more extensive and an updated additional written policy be carried out.


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