Medication errors are a significant problem facing healthcare organizations today. These errors contribute to preventable injuries and deaths in the American population. It occurs following wrongful administration of a drug, wrongful patient identification, wrongful dosage, and wrongful route of administration of a drug. There are also documented low levels of reporting medication errors in hospitals, resulting in adverse outcomes (Mostafa et al., 2020). Medication errors occur virtually in most hospital units and significantly affect patient safety and quality of care. It results in a high cost of hospitalizations due to prolonged hospital stays and treatment of complications (Zakria & Mohamed, 2017). Hence, this problem needs a multidisciplinary approach to reduce these errors in patient care and well-being effectively. This paper will look at the change implementation and management plan for medication errors.
The adequate planning and implementation of an effective plan are necessary for preventing medication errors in hospitals. A helpful strategy that will promote change is educating healthcare professionals on the standard practices for drug administration, drug prescription, and medication errors. The hospital management needs to institute in-service training for the nurses, physicians, and pharmacists involved in drug administration. The education intervention needs to inform clinicians on adherence to the five rules of drug administration. These rules are right patient, right drug, correct dose, right frequency, and administration route (Zakria & Mohamed, 2017). Furthermore, the hospital management should educate the professionals on adhering to the available guidelines on reporting medication errors for prompt interventions. This change is projected to reduce medication errors in hospitals and promote the safety and quality of patient care.
Justifications for Change
The proposed change in education to improve drug administration and medication reporting has significance for patient management. First, effective implementation of this plan will result in reduced mortality from medication errors. Research by da Silva & Krishnamurthy (2016) shows that an estimated 7000 to 9000 people die yearly in America from preventable medication errors. Additionally, billions of US dollars are spent annually to manage the complications following medication errors (Mostafa et al., 2020). Second, medication errors result in increased length of hospitalizations of the patient due to the effects of mistakes in medications. Patients also suffer from significant injuries and disabilities in cases of deficiencies in the drug administration process. Third, it is imperative to address this problem as studies show that it results in psychological disturbances to the healthcare personnel. Nurses and physicians tend to suffer from anxiety and depression whenever they make medication errors impacting patients’ safety (Bari et al., 2016). Therefore, it is crucial to educate professionals on standard drug therapy for optimal patient management and job satisfaction.
Details of the Proposed Change
The goal of the in-service training is to increase the competencies of the healthcare personnel in prescribing and administering drugs to reduce instances of medication errors. This initiative also aims to improve the reporting of errors occurring at the hospital units for adequate and timely management. In this proposed change, the management of the hospitals needs to conduct training in the hospital for the practitioners. Adequate knowledge of the proper steps to follow during medication will increase the awareness of the personnel (Gracia et al., 2019). Consequently, the managers will observe the practitioners for signs of improved administration of drugs and reporting of medication errors. Junior professionals with significant difficulties in this strategy will be assigned to specific mentors who will build their capacity for effective drug management.
Stakeholders Impacted by the Change and the Change Management Team
The members of the patient management team involved in drug administration and reporting, and ensuring the safety of patients are targeted in this intervention. First, the nursing department needs radical changes because they are the major stakeholders in administering medications. Nurses should adhere to the five principles of drug administration, maintain current knowledge of drugs’ pharmacologic actions, and ensure counterchecking of drugs by two nurses during drug administration (Tariq et al., 2020). Second, the medical practitioners’ departments help correct medication errors. Physicians need to follow the evidence-based regulations for practical dosage and route of administration during prescription. Finally, pharmacists need to record the patient’s drug allergies to prevent adverse reactions during drug administration.
Change Management Team
The change management team for the proposed change will enhance the achievement of the goals. This team comprises the nursing officer manager, senior medical officer, and chief hospital pharmacist. The nursing officer manager will spearhead the adherence to the five rights in drug administration. The senior medical officer will ensure that physicians adhere to the available protocols for prescribing drugs according to the patient and the disease conditions. The chief pharmacist officer is liable for ensuring that drugs are availed on time.
Communication and the Risk Mitigation Plan
The proposed change plan should be communicated to staff members for their collaboration to enhance goal achievement. Posters need to be put at strategic places informing the members of staff. The managers should sensitize their subordinates to the proposed changes through departmental meetings. The risk anticipated in this change is the cost implications of conducting the education program and the challenges to patient management when the healthcare personnel is undergoing the training. The hospital administration should provide the cost for the interviews through an effective budgeting scheme. It needs to cater to the remuneration of the teachers and study materials required during the training. Furthermore, budgetary allocations need to be put to acquire flowcharts and protocols in the wards outlining the steps for proper drug therapy (Mieiro et al., 2019). Moreover, the training schedule of the staff needs to be scheduled on different days to reduce disruptions to the regular patient.
Bari, A., Khan, R. A., & Rathore, A. W. (2016). Medical errors; causes, consequences, emotional response and resulting behavioral change. Pakistan journal of medical sciences, 32(3), 523–528. Web.
da Silva, B. A., & Krishnamurthy, M. (2016). The alarming reality of medication error: a patient case and review of Pennsylvania and National data. Journal of community hospital internal medicine perspectives, 6(4), 31758. Web.
Gracia, J. E., Serrano, R. B., & Garrido, J. F. (2019). Medication errors and drug knowledge gaps among critical-care nurses: a mixed multi-method study. BMC health services research, 19(1), 1-9. Web.
Mieiro, D. B., Oliveira, É. B. C. D., Fonseca, R. E. P. D., Mininel, V. A., Zem-Mascarenhas, S. H., & Machado, R. C. (2019). Strategies to minimize medication errors in emergency units: an integrative review. Revista brasileira de enfermagem, 72, 307314. Web.
Mostafa, L. S., Sabri, N. A., El-Anwar, A. M., & Shaheen, S. M. (2020). Evaluation of pharmacist-led educational interventions to reduce medication errors in emergency hospitals: a new insight into patient care. Journal of Public Health, 42(1), 169-174. Web.
Tariq, R. A., Vashisht, R., Sinha, A., & Scherbak, Y. (2020). Medication Dispensing Errors and Prevention. StatPearls: Treasure Island, FL, USA. Web.
Zakria, A. M., & Mohamed, S. A. (2017). Safety Intervention Educational Program to Reduce Medication Administration Errors and Interruptions. IOSR Journal of Nursing and Health Science, 6(2), 15-25. Web.