Technology to Improve Patient Safety Change Proposal for Patient Safety

by Anup Maurya
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Introduction

Patient safety is the main notion of healthcare and the growing utilization of technology could be explained by the healthcare institutions have a need to provide their patients with a comfortable and secure environment (Carayon and co. 2014). Innovations like technology like the Electronic Health Record (EHR) are already making the information systems of some hospitals more secure than they were previously, allowing them to access and store information in a secure manner.

But, human error can result in negative effects on the health of patients. This is why the use of electronic prescription (e-prescribing) system could help improve the quality of care, improve the efficiency of errors by humans, and improve the quality of healthcare (Porterfield, Engelbert, & Coustasse 2014). While the introduction of this technology could improve the safety of patients, it is important to consider such things as resistance to change and identify ways to explain the necessity to avoid issues.

Technology

The change proposed is the implementation of electronic prescriptions. It is a system that could be used in conjunction together with an EHR or independently (Motulsky and co. (2015)). E-prescribing enables nurses and doctors to electronically send prescriptions for patients direct to pharmacy electronically (Porterfield and others. 2014). In this manner, the requirement for paper-based methods disappears, as does the necessity of handwritten notes and relying on the understanding of patients about the procedure. Additionally, because the technology is able to be utilized alongside the EHR system, patient information is centralized, which includes the entire health record and prescriptions, as well as communication with pharmacies.

Impact

Certain positive outcomes could be anticipated as a result of the introduction of electronic prescriptions to hospitals. In the first place, the chance of human error will be greatly diminished (Porterfield and co. 2014). Although handwritten notes can get lost, changed or be difficult to understand, electronic messages are simple to read and are not able to be altered without permission from the system. So, the interaction of humans using these prescriptions is extremely restricted, making these prescriptions more secure for patients. Additionally, the central system of storing prescription histories will allow hospital staff to stay informed of the needs of patients and their health conditions. Electronic prescriptions can cut down on the amount of confusion and miscommunication between staff members and supply medical personnel with a safe system of information storage. This means that patient safety is improved by removing human error.

Issues

One of the major issues that could affect the implementation process is the presence of human elements as the resistance of change lack of competence and human mistakes. For instance, doctors may not be supportive of the use of new technologies due to the presence of routines and the reliance on past experiences (Motulsky and co. (2015)). In addition, a poor knowledge of the technology in general can be a major obstacle to its implementation. This cognitive burden could impact the satisfaction of employees and affect their relationships with the patient, the hospital and other employees (Rosenbaum 2015). The challenges are solvable through education for those who use e-prescription. In helping employees be aware of the reasons the significance of this technology and how it functions it is possible for the hospital to implement the new system and ensure that they have staff members who can use it without making any mistakes.

Evaluation of the Impact and Implementation

The effect of this change is assessed by an assessment tool called the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) (Carayon and al. 2014). This model employs the human factor approach for evaluate the effectiveness of the advanced technology to improve the safety of patients. The SEIPS model employs an incredibly complex method of assessing outcomes and advancements in the method than other methods (Carayon and colleagues. 2014). It can, for instance, be used to calculate the changes in the frequency of not using or incorrect prescriptions, and determine if patient satisfaction and safety is higher than prior. If the percentage of errors is less using this technology than it was using traditional techniques, the process could be considered to have been successful.

Implementation of this system will require some preparatory steps. First, the employees who will work in e-prescribing must be taught to utilize this system. The hospital must then purchase the necessary hardware for the system and install software suitable for the institution in accordance with its size and the number of patients and users. In addition, a time frame for adjustment is required for patients to transition from a paper-based prescription procedure to a more modern one.

The evaluation of the effectiveness of new technology is essential to incorporate certain adjustments and determine whether the system is operating according to plan. Communication with patients and workers is an essential element of each step as it can help patients over come their resistance, and patients to appreciate the significance of the technology. In addition, constant interaction can help to identify any issues that arise during the early stage.

Conclusion

The need for technology advancements arises due to hospitals’ requirement to offer patients secure environments and top-quality treatment. Because patient safety is often contingent on the human factor and the utilization of methods as electronic prescribing can help patients as well as employees. If implemented correctly it can cut down on human errors, save patients’ information in a safe location and offer a more secure method of communication with pharmacies. Resistance to changes, as well as other human-related factors can be overcome through education and communication.

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