NURS 5051/6051 Week 1: Nursing Informatics and Patient Safety Essay Assignment Paper

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NURS 5051/6051 Week 1: Nursing Informatics and Patient Safety

In 2011, Mason General Hospital was named by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine as one of the “Most Wired” hospitals in the United States. What makes this particularly significant is that Mason General is a small, 25-bed, rural hospital in the state of Washington. It credits its success to nurse Eileen Branscome, director of clinical informatics. Under her leadership, the hospital adopted such innovations as visual smart boards where real-time patient information is always available. According to the magazine, those hospitals designated as “Most Wired” “show better outcomes in patient satisfaction, risk-adjusted mortality rates, and other key quality measures through the use of information technology (IT)” (Mason General Hospital and Family of Clinics, 2012).

Developments in information technology have enabled patients and health care providers to collaborate for quality improvement at an unprecedented level, and nurses have consistently been at the forefront of these efforts. This week you focus on the IOM report “To Err Is Human” and consider how health information technology has helped to address the issues of patient safety and quality health care.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze the utilization of health information technology to address issues raised in the IOM report “To Err Is Human”
  • Assess the role of informatics in improving health care safety

The 1999 landmark study titled “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System” highlighted the unacceptably high incidence of U.S. medical errors and put forth recommendations to improve patient safety. Since its publication, the recommendations in “To Err Is Human’ have guided significant changes in nursing practice in the United States.

In this Discussion, you will review these recommendations and consider the role of health information technology in helping address concerns presented in the report.

To prepare:

    • Review the summary of “To Err Is Human” presented in the Plawecki and Amrhein article found in this week’s Learning Resources.
    • Consider the following statement:

“The most significant barrier to improving patient safety identified in “To Err Is Human” is a “lack of awareness of the extent to which errors occur daily in all health care settings and organizations (Wakefield, 2008).”

  • Review “The Quality Chasm Series: Implications for Nursing” focusing on Table 3: “Simple Rules for the 21st Century Health Care System.” Consider your current organization or one with which you are familiar. Reflect on one of the rules where the “current rule” is still in operation in the organization and consider another instance in which the organization has effectively transitioned to the new rule.

By Day 3

Post your thoughts on how the development of information technology has helped address the concerns about patient safety raised in the “To Err Is Human” report. Summarize how informatics has assisted in improving health care safety in your organization and areas where growth is still needed.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence or research.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.
  • Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.

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