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Enhancing Quality and SafetyPatient Identification Errors in Healthcare Healthcare institutions

Enhancing Quality and Safety

Patient Identification Errors in Healthcare

Healthcare institutions and providers always do their best to create a safe patient environment. However, the complications of the healthcare system raise many questions related to patient safety. BSN nurses are essential in identifying and expressing relevant patient risk factors and establishing evidence-based interventions that would improve patient safety and interdisciplinary patient-centered care. Among the critical questions of patient safety and health care, on the whole, underlying it, are patient identification errors. Mistakes in patient identification represent a considerable safety issue in health environments, with possible effects on patient welfare and the functioning of health care systems (Popescu et al., 2022). Precise patient identification is an essential part of health care service safety. The paper will explore the identification of errors of patients, causes, best practice solutions, and how nurses can help coordinate care.

Factors Leading to Patient Identification Errors

Major factors that contribute to patient identification errors in healthcare settings incorporate human error, inadequate training, poor communication, systemic failures, and patient characteristics. Human errors perpetrated because of tiredness, cognitive work overload, and distraction lead to mistakes in correctly identifying patients in time (Aghighi et al., 2022). The professionals in the health sector, who usually work long shifts or under tight schedules, may greatly suffer from human error. Errors result from inadequate training in proper procedures for identification. Sufficient training of healthcare workers should allow them to follow protocols and use the correct identification technologies. Insufficient communication among healthcare providers may create an error in patient identification. Miscommunication at handover, shift changes, or between inter-departments may result in the incorrect patient receiving the correct treatment. Defects in the health care service, such as poor standardization in the identification process or failure in the optimum use of technology, may result in errors. Poor concordance in practices among different units or facilities can also create confusion and errors. Finally, patient factors, including patients with similar names, unconscious patients, or those unable to communicate their identity, pose significant challenges. The confirmation process exposes even more challenges when a language barrier and cultural differences are involved.

Evidence-Based and Best-Practice Solutions

Implementing evidence-based and best-practice solutions can significantly reduce patient identification errors. One effective solution is using barcode technology and electronic health records (EHRs) for patient identification. Barcode technology in EHR wristbands is scanned before the administration of drugs or treatments to ensure the correct patient is identified (Mulac, 2021). Another solution is adopting a two-factor identification process. Two-factor identification, such as the patient’s name and date of birth, gives double-check measures before a procedure. Standard Protocols put into place can identify patients entering all departments and facilities. The protocols might include using identification technologies and manual checking of identifications with the assistance of guidelines. Additionally, health professionals must continue to be educated in identifying correct procedures and adhering to laid-down protocols. Training could be incorporated into simulation and competency-based assessments for learning enhancement. Additionally, involving the patients in the identification process can further reduce errors. If patients are encouraged to be active and share correct confirming information or knowledge about the identification procedures, then the process may gain accuracy.

Role of Nurses in Coordinating Care

Nurses are vital in coordinating care to increase patient safety and reduce costs. Nurses help in protocol implementation, education and advocacy, interdisciplinary communication, quality improvement initiatives, and the use of technology. Nurses are more often charged with carrying out identification protocols. They will not risk any mishaps when they strictly adhere to standard procedures. Nurses can advocate for patient and family education regarding the importance of correct identification. Encouraging patient participation in the identification process empowers them to be actively involved in their care process (Flaubert, 2021). Nurses facilitate communications among interdisciplinary healthcare teams. An essential requirement for this interdisciplinary communication depends upon the assurance that information passed between one member to the other on handovers and exchange of shifts is transmitted correctly. Tools such as SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation) standardize communication and minimize errors. Nurses can also develop or participate in quality improvement initiatives to reduce identification errors. Through data analysis and finding trends, nurses help implement evidence-based resolutions for patient safety. Additionally, technologies used in healthcare, like barcode scanners and EHRs, have nurses’ active, direct involvement. Their adept professionalism in using such tools assures the identification process is followed accurately with a minimized possibility of errors.

Stakeholders in Driving Safety Enhancements

Identifying and collaborating with key stakeholders is essential for driving safety enhancements related to patient identification errors. Healthcare providers, including physicians, nurses, and other frontline staff, identify patients. Their adherence to protocols and commitment to safety are crucial for reducing errors. Patients and family involved in identification help comprehend and affirm their identity. Healthcare administrators implement and maintain identification protocols. Their resources, training, and technology will help implement protocols (Cho et al., 2020). Multidisciplinary quality improvement teams identify and implement improvements. Their role in analyzing data and monitoring outcomes is critical for sustained safety enhancements. Regulatory and accreditation bodies, such as The Joint Commission and QSEN, set patient safety requirements. Standards offer a path for continuous compliance and accreditation engagement improvement. Suppliers of identifying technology like barcode systems and EHRs also ensure tool efficiency, resulting in user-friendly and reliable technology.

Conclusion

Patient identification inaccuracies endanger patient safety and healthcare operations. Multifactor techniques for developing evidence-based solutions, active nursing, and stakeholder involvement can address errors. Standardized protocols, technology, patient engagement, and interdisciplinary teamwork can reduce identification errors in healthcare organizations and create a patient identification safety culture. Baccalaureate-prepared nurses guide initiatives and coordinate care to promote high safety and quality in healthcare environments. With dedication and excellent practice, these efforts will reduce patient identification errors and improve patient safety.

References

Aghighi, N., Aryankhesal, A., & Raeissi, P. (2022). Factors affecting the recurrence of medical errors in hospitals and the preventive strategies: a scoping review.
Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine,
15(7).

Cho, I., Lee, M., & Kim, Y. (2020). What are the main patient safety concerns of healthcare stakeholders: a mixed-method study of web-based text.
International Journal of Medical Informatics,
140(1), 104162.

Flaubert, J. L. (2021). The role of nurses in improving health care access and quality. In
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. National Academies Press (US).

Mulac, A. (2021). Barcode medication administration technology use in hospital practice: A mixed-methods observational study of policy deviations.
BMJ Quality & Safety,
30(12), 1021–1030.

Popescu, C., Chaarani, H. E., Abiad, Z. E., & Gigauri, I. (2022). Implementation of health information systems to improve patient identification.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,
19(22), 15236.

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