I am a nursing manager, and the care and safety of my patients are my top priorities.
Whether I’m interacting directly with patients, assisting colleagues or performing duties behind the scenes, for me it's all about providing the highest quality patient care.
I am under constant pressure by both insurance companies and Medicare to hold down costs, while our patients demand more and better services and flexibility. And let’s not forget the liabilities that we must continually guard against. But at the end of the day, we’re not dealing with numbers or goods – my work directly affects our patients' quality of life.
I need to assure the “five rights” are being met every time we administer medications. What’s the difference between the drugs Durasal and Durezol? They look and sound alike, but they are completely different medications, and mistaking one for the other could have serious consequences for my patients.
I need to make sure our manner of patient identification is reliable, easy for our staff to work with, and protects patient privacy. As we become more automated and introduce more technology into our patient care, positive patient identification becomes even more critical. It’s the common link that ties all of these systems together.
Barcoding systems offer many advantages for reducing errors, but the equipment and systems have to adapt to our hospital and our unique needs, and not the other way around. Any potential system that is cumbersome or creates more work for our staff will be met with resistance.