Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hospital’s Communications, Medical Teams Join Forces to Highlight Medical Errors

By combining the expertise of a multi-disciplinary medical team and the Communications Department, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is creating visual story-telling presentations to highlight medical errors, ClinicalOncology.com reports.
The Center, based in Houston, Texas, produces “video stories,” which contain recommendations based on adverse drug-related events, in combination with photos, audio recordings and video re-enactments. The presentations are shown during staff and committee meetings and are available on the hospital’s intranet site.

The presentations illustrate gaps in everyday medical processes that can lead to medical errors. For example, a presentation may explore the drug use processes ranging from prescribing to administration and analyze where errors might occur.

Errors are identified every month by a multidisciplinary team that includes a nurse, pharmacist, and patient safety specialist. The group selects three events or topics and then another larger multidisciplinary group of nurses, pharmacists, and mid-level providers choose one topic to be developed into a visual presentation.

Between October 2012 and June 2013, hospital leaders accessed the eight once-monthly videos nearly 3,500 times, according to ClinicalOncology.com. The response from hospital leaders, as well as front-line nurses, pharmacist and physicians, has been overwhelmingly positive, according to the project’s administrators.

An INQRI-funded study led by Linda Flynn and Dong-Churl Suh examined the “Impact of Nursing Structures and Processes on Medication Errors.” The multidisciplinary research team identified changes in nursing care processes needed to prevent medication errors as well as adjustments in nurse staffing and the practice environment that can facilitate interception of such errors.

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