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B90075 Applied Health Studies Question: Discuss about the medication safety and evaluate the health safety policies and guidelines. Answer: Medicines are substances that are used in the treatment of different diseases for management of various conditions and relieving them off different symptoms. Medications are mainly considered safe only when they are used or administered as prescribed or as directed on the label (Rutledge, Retrosi and Ostrowiski 2018). However, many risks are also seen in association with the taking or administering of medications. Therefore, this assignment will mainly show how medication administration and safety guidelines need to be reviewed and analyzed. It will also show how medication safety maintenance would result in better patient satisfaction and safe care to patients. Wrong medication, improper dose of medication, medication at wrong time, wrong routes and many others can prove to be fatal for the life of the patients as they can expose the patient to life threatening situations, long stays at the hospital, readmission in the hospitals, poor quality life and high level of suffering. Hence, the professionals need to be skilled and knowledgeable so that medication errors do not occur and the best quality safe practices are provided to the patients (Alomari et al. 2018). Therefore, concerned nursing professional should take the responsibility to conduct effective evaluation in order to check that the medication policies, guidelines as well as the practices conducted by the healthcare professionals are evidence based and free from risks from any medication hazards. The higher authority should first review to find whether the contents of the policies are sufficient to help the professionals as guidelines for effective maintenance of medication safety. The review committees should first check whether proper guidelines for checking patient information are given in the policy or not (Parry, Barriball and White 2015). Proper ways of patient specific identifiers, verification of allergies and reactions are provided or not, highlighting of critical diagnosis and conditions, updating of current medications, standardizing height and weight measurements are present or not. The guidelines and the practices should also involve proper drug information like maintenance of drug preferences, maintaining proper drug guidelines,   identification of high alert medications and many others. Another important review that should be done of the effective maintenance of the medication safety is the development of an organizational culture that would be including effective communication among members and also between members and higher authorities. The policy should also be comprising of effective sharing of information among the members, improvement of handwriting, and avoiding any problematic abbreviations. The orders should be read back, using of the electronic systems and effective labeling and storage like separation of problematic drugs, keeping the storage area well organized, controlling the access to medications and many others. Another important aspect of the review would be to learn how well the healthcare professionals are aligning with the principles mentioned in the policies and guidelines. The evaluation committee would be conducting safety audits for physicians, pharmacies as well as the nurses by development of proper set of questionnaires where their answers would help to develop ideas their knowledge, skills and daily practices (Nanji et al. 2016). Moreover, observational tasks should also be adopted where the evaluation officers would be checking on the procedures conducted by the healthcare professionals in order to identify their training needs. Accordingly, training sessions would be conducted to help them develop their skills. Researchers say that medication error often remains under recorded, as the professionals believe that it might affect their career and result in cancellation of license. The higher authorities should influence a culture where such recording are self-reported and effective support and guidance are provided to the professionals so that they can develop their future practices rather than carrying on with their incompetent skills. The concept of safety culture can be defined as the work environment in the healthcare centers that helps in minimization of the adverse events despite the carrying out of different intrinsically complex as well as hazardous work. It is seen that high reliability healthcare organizations put more importance to the carrying out of intrinsically complex as well as hazardous work.  It is important for all organizations to maintain their commitment for safety at all the different levels from that of the frontline managers to that of the managers as well as executives (Fan et al. 2016). The culture of safety is mainly seen to comprise of certain important key features out of which one of the most important is acknowledgement of the high-risk nature of the different activities of the organization and their determination for achieving effectively and consistently the different safe operations. Moreover, the safety culture should be such that it would promote a blame free environment. Here, the different individuals are mainly able to report different errors as well as near misses without the fear as well as the reprimand or any form of punishment. There should be also encouragement of the collaboration across ranks and disciplines for seeking solutions as well as other patient safety problems. Moreover, culture that would be including the commitment towards resources that help in addressing of different safety concerns. Poor safety culture is mainly seen to be linked with the increased number of errors and for overcoming these, number of initiatives is very important (Bernard et al. 2018). This should include teamwork training, training for development of skills and knowledge of individuals, executive walk-around and have included the establishment of the unit based safety teams. Rapid response teams as well as structured communication methods that include SBAR are found to be extremely helpful in addressing of the different safety cultural issues such as rigid hierarchies as well as communication problems. Work related injuries as well as illness among the healthcare professionals have been seen to occur in the different work setting. These are seen to affect not only the safety of the workers but also that of the families, healthcare institutions and ultimately on the patient safety. Patient safety and worker safety are stated to go hand in hand and form the organizational safety culture as their foundation. This can be explained with the help of an example. Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways for the prevention of the infections. Researchers have found that healthcare providers clean their hands less than the number of times they should (Ling et al. 2015). This is mainly seen to contribute to that of the spread of healthcare associated infections. Such infections affect 1 in 25 hospital patients everyday making the patient exposed to get a particular infection when they are treated for another ailment. Most of the workers also remain exposed to getting an infection while they are treating patients (Hall et al. 2016). Maintaining hand hygiene can result in the prevention as well as controlling the spread of different illness. These would reduce the unnecessary flow of healthcare resources of the organization and the financial expenditures of the patients. This would also result in reduction of suffering of the patient and nurse better patient satisfaction (Ammouri et al. 2015). A safety and the health management system are mainly seen to be a proactive procedure. This helps employees for finding and fixing different workplace hazards before the professionals get hurt or injured. I have strongly complied with such systems as I believe that it helps both the employers as well as the society to reduce the personal, financial as well as societal costs which the injuries, illnesses as well as fatalities impose. I have seen that when healthcare members comply with the safety rules and culture, this can lead to transformation of the workplace culture where there would be reduction in the injuries, illness as well as the fatalities. It also helps in the lowering of the worker’s compensation and other costs along with the improvement of the morale and communication (Ghaferi and Dimick 2015). This in turn enhances the image as well as reputation and thereby helps in the improvement of the processes, services and even products. I have witnessed that only making the nurses competent and trained for the maintenance of safety procedures are not enough. Other components that the safety and health management systems are seen to include is a similar set of commonsense basic elements. This mainly includes the management leadership as well as worker participation. Hazard identification and assessment, hazard prevention and its control, education and training and system evaluation are important to maintain a safety culture (Antonsen 2017). One of the most important aspects that I have seen to be helpful is the worker participation in the development of safety culture in the organization as when workers are seen to for encouraging in offering their ideas, the flaws in systems can be identified. They tend to be not only satisfied but also productive (Allen et al. 2016). Moreover, I have contributed to the development of a blame free environment where fear of punishment cannot cat as barrier in effective care.  I have mainly participated in five major activities to ensure safety culture. I have worked with the management and helped them for improvement of both the patient as well as the worker safety. I have encouraged worker participation in the safety planning and have ensured availability of different protective equipment. I have also tried to influence the group norms regarding the acceptable safety practices as well as the organization’s socialization process for any new personnel. I have tried to make the environment of working more comfortable for the new nurses so that they can put forward their queries, issues and other aspects regarding safety and healthcare so that they can get help from seniors accordingly and are not blamed for their reporting of errors. From the above discussion, it becomes clear that medication safety is extremely important. Therefore, proper audit processes for the performance of the professionals and evaluation of the health safety policies and guidelines are important for ensuring reduction of medication errors and maintenance of safe practices. Moreover, a safety culture in the healthcare organization is extremely important for preventing patients from being affected by infectious diseases. The employer should ensure development of a safety culture where workers are trained, proper guidelines are produced, and enough resources to maintain safety are present. Moreover, time-to-time evaluation of safety practices also need to be assessed. This would result in the reduction of patient sufferings and huge flow of resources. References: Allen, D., Braithwaite, J., Sandall, J. and Waring, J., 2016. Towards a sociology of healthcare safety and quality. Sociology of health & illness, 38(2), pp.181-197. Alomari, A., Wilson, V., Solman, A., Bajorek, B. and Tinsley, P., 2018. Pediatric Nurses’ Perceptions of Medication Safety and Medication Error: A Mixed Methods Study. Comprehensive child and adolescent nursing, 41(2), pp.94-110. Ammouri, A.A., Tailakh, A.K., Muliira, J.K., Geethakrishnan, R. and Al Kindi, S.N., 2015. Patient safety culture among nurses. International nursing review, 62(1), pp.102-110. Antonsen, S., 2017. Safety culture: theory, method and improvement. CRC Press. Bernard, L., Biron, A., Lavigne, G., Frechette, J., Bernard, A., Mitchell, J. and Lavoie?Tremblay, M., 2018. An exploratory study of safety culture, biological risk management and hand hygiene of healthcare professionals. Journal of advanced nursing, 74(4), pp.827-837. Fan, C.J., Pawlik, T.M., Daniels, T., Vernon, N., Banks, K., Westby, P., Wick, E.C., Sexton, J.B. and Makary, M.A., 2016. Association of safety culture with surgical site infection outcomes. Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 222(2), pp.122-128. Ghaferi, A.A. and Dimick, J.B., 2015. Understanding failure to rescue and improving safety culture. Annals of surgery, 261(5), p.839. Hall, L.H., Johnson, J., Watt, I., Tsipa, A. and O’Connor, D.B., 2016. Healthcare staff wellbeing, burnout, and patient safety: a systematic review. PloS one, 11(7), p.e0159015. Ling, L., Joynt, G., Lee, A., Samy, W., Fung, H. and Gomersall, C.D., 2015. Prospective controlled study to compare the effects of a basic patient safety course on healthcare worker patient safety culture. Critical Care, 19(1), p.P514. Nanji, K.C., Patel, A., Shaikh, S., Seger, D.L. and Bates, D.W., 2016. Evaluation of perioperative medication errors and adverse drug events. Anesthesiology: The Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, 124(1), pp.25-34. Parry, A.M., Barriball, K.L. and While, A.E., 2015. Factors contributing to Registered Nurse medication administration error: A narrative review. International journal of nursing studies, 52(1), pp.403-420. Rutledge, D.N., Retrosi, T. and Ostrowski, G., 2018. Barriers to medication error reporting among hospital nurses. Journal of clinical nursing, 27(9-10), pp.1941-1949.

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