No one wants to make mistakes at work, especially in the healthcare field, where those mistakes can have devastating consequences. Mistakes don’t just impact the healthcare professional; they also affect the patient. While you cannot avoid every single medical error, you can help your team prevent many of them.
Failures That Lead To Mistakes
The most common errors involve patient falls, infections, medication errors, documentation, and equipment injuries. Many of those mistakes can be traced to these issues:
- Lack of communication between team members
- Failure to clarify orders
- Not asking for assistance when needed or offering support when a staffer is struggling
- Not adhering to safety procedures
- Staff shortages
- Working too much overtime
How To Help Your Team Prevent Mistakes
Enact Hourly Rounding
Hourly rounding ensures nurses and other staff are getting in front of patients regularly. When they are continually being checked on, patients won’t feel the need to get out of bed themselves and potentially fall. Hourly rounding also ensures nurses are monitoring patients often enough to catch any potential changes in patients before they become serious.
Develop Non-Negotiable Documentation Processes
It is very easy to forget to document something, especially when things get busy. However, failing to document can have serious consequences. Develop a system for documenting that is fast, accurate, and simple for staff to perform, so they don’t feel the need to rush through it or skip it to get to their next patient. It can be useful for nurse managers to check on documentation regularly until the staff develops new habits and understands that documentation is not optional or negotiable.
Two-Step Verification for Medications
Medication errors are extremely common – but they can also have devastating effects. Administering the wrong medication or the wrong dosage can lead to fatal results. Using a barcode system or a two-nurse verification requirement for administering medication can prevent a host of medication errors from dosage mistakes to administering the wrong drugs.
Talk About Mistakes
When mistakes do occur, sit with the staff member and deconstruct where things went wrong and the steps he or she should take to prevent that mistake again in the future. During staff meetings, without singling anyone out, go back over proper procedures and best practices to reinforce behaviours that will prevent mistakes.
Work With A Healthcare Staffing Agency
Healthcare professionals work long hours and a lot of overtime. That mental and physical strain can lead to exhaustion, which can lead to a host of preventable errors. Work with a healthcare staffing agency to ensure your teams are always fully-staffed, even in the event of a last-minute call-off. Access to skilled professionals on-demand can help control the stress on your core team and ensure the quality of patient care.