Patient Safety

We Need More and Better Equipped Nurses

Editor’s Notes: In this article, Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety) discusses why we need more nurses and better equipped nurses to improve patient safety and care.

By Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

Happy Nurses Week!

As an advocate for patient monitoring, I am often asked how much I value nurses. More particularly, people often ask me –  is PPAHS trying to replace nurses with technology?

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Hospital Acquired Conditions, Patient Safety

Happier Nurses = Better Patient Care

A recent report by Press Gainey, “Nursing Special Report: The Influence of Nurse Work Environment on Patient, Payment and Nurse Outcomes in Acute Care Settings” suggests that happier nurses lead to better patient care. The report examines the impact of nurses’ work environment on key performance measures.

The Press Gainey report found that hospitals with better nurse staffing and work environments tend to have fewer readmissions for heart failure, pneumonia and myocardial infarction. Says the Press Gainey report:

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Patient Safety

Three Technologies Nurses Want Discussed at ACI Medical Liability Conference

Three technologies nurses want were discussed at the recent ACI Medical Liability conference.

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) conducted a survey among 73 nurses who are members of the American Hospital Association (AHA). The AHA leads, represents and serves hospitals, health systems and other related organizations that are accountable to the community and committed to health improvement.

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Patient Safety

Survey on Nursing and Monitoring for Respiratory Compromise: Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety Invites Nurses to Participate

Researchers at the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) invite nurses to participate in an anonymous, secure, online survey about hospital monitoring of patients with respiratory compromise –

“As a practicing professional, nurses have valuable knowledge and experiences to share that can inform PPAHS policy and education initiatives,” said Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, PPAHS). “The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete and provides nurses with the opportunity to share your thoughts and perceptions. Read More

Must Reads

Weekly Must Reads in Patient Safety and Health Care (September 25, 2015) – Risk Assessment Tools & Medical Errors

The two themes for this week’s must reads are risk assessment tools and medical errors.

Risk Assessment Tools

Nicole Humbert, PharmD, Trinity Hospital (Livonia, Michigan) and her colleagues analyzed 13,838 patients who received an opioid within 24 hours of surgery. Through their research, they have developed a risk assessment tool to identify those patients most at risk of opioid-induced respiratory depression: Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Lessons Learned from a Survey Assessing Nurses’ Awareness and Perceptions of Opioids and the Impact of Postsurgical Pain Management Medication Interventions

[Editor’s note: Amy Smalarz led the survey research. Lynn Razzano assisted with the article writing, but was not involved with the design, conduct, or analysis of the survey.]

By Amy Smalarz PhD, MHA (President and Co-Founder, Strategic Market Insight) and Lynn Razzano RN, MSN, ONCC (Clinical Nurse Consultant, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

Postsurgical pain management with opioids is tricky business. Not only do you have to think about which medication delivery interventions to use (PCA IV opioids, continuous wound infiltration, continuous epidural or femoral nerve block to name a few), but you must consider the type and amount of medication, then responsibly monitor the patient effectively. We know all too well about the dangers and challenges of ensuring the effectiveness of the medication as well as the safety of the patients; for example, The Joint Commission issued Sentinel Event Alert #49 and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices recently issued yet another Medication Safety Alert. Read More

Opioid Safety, Patient Stories, Respiratory Compromise

Nursing Spot Checks for Patient Safety: A Nurse’s Perspective

(This article first published in Advance for Nurses, which covers the issues that matter most to nurses practicing in all areas of the profession. As that publication winds down, we have archived some articles here.)

By Malinda Loflin, RN, BSN. Malinda is a certified case manager at a hospital in Oklahoma City. During her 22 years as a registered nurse, her clinical experience has been in many specialty areas including the operating room, post-anesthesia care unit, and the emergency department. In 2006, her father tragically died of opioid-induced respiratory depression after a routine surgery. She shared her experience and the impact that it has had on her and her family at the 2011 Anesthesia Patient Safety Conference.

Nursing spot checks on postoperative patients receiving opioids are not enough to ensure the safety of patients. I say this as both a registered nurse who works at a large medical center and as a daughter who has had the misfortune of seeing her own father die between nurses’ spot checks. Read More

Alarm Fatigue, Respiratory Compromise

3 Ways Technology Can Help Nurses Spend More Time at Patients’ Bedside

(This article first published on Advance for Nurses, where “millions of nursing, rehab and allied health professionals” turn to for “a trustworthy source of industry news and information”. That publication has been discontinued. We have replaced an excerpt with the full article below.)

The current hospital-patient care environment does not allow nurses to spend their time where they are needed most, at the patients’ bedside. A time and motion study of 767 medical-surgical nurses in 36 hospitals found that only 7.2% of their time (31 minutes during a typical 10 hour shift) is spent with the patient performing tasks, such as assessing the patient and reading vital signs. During a 10 hour shift, the study found that nurses’ time was spent in numerous activities, as shown in the chart below: Read More