Enhancing Quality and Safety

Health care organizations and professionals strive to create safe environments for patients however, due to the
complexity of the health care system, maintaining safety can be a challenge. Since nurses comprise the largest
group of health care professionals, a great deal of responsibility falls in the hands of practicing nurses. Quality
improvement (QI) measures and safety improvement plans are effective interventions to reduce medical errors
and sentinel events such as medication errors, falls, infections, and deaths. A 2000 Institute of Medicine (IOM)
report indicated that almost one million people are harmed annually in the United States, (Kohn et al., 2000)
and 210,000–440,000 die as a result of medical errors (Allen, 2013).
The role of the baccalaureate nurse includes identifying and explaining specific patient risk factors,
incorporating evidence-based solutions to improving patient safety and coordinating care. A solid foundation of
knowledge and understanding of safety organizations such as Quality and Safety Education for Nurses
(QSEN), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and The Joint Commission and its National Patient Safety Goals
(NPSGs) program is vital to practicing nurses with regard to providing and promoting safe and effective patient
You are encouraged to complete the Identifying Safety Risks and Solutions activity. This activity offers an
opportunity to review a case study and practice identifying safety risks and possible solutions. We have found
that learners who complete course activities and review resources are more successful with first submissions.
Completing course activities is also a way to demonstrate course engagement.
Demonstration of Proficiency
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course
competencies and assessment criteria:
Competency 1: Analyze the elements of a successful quality improvement initiative.
Explain evidence-based and best-practice solutions to improve patient safety focusing on medication
administration and reducing costs.
Competency 2: Analyze factors that lead to patient safety risks.
Explain factors leading to a specific patient-safety risk focusing on medication administration.
Competency 4: Explain the nurse’s role in coordinating care to enhance quality and reduce costs.
Explain how nurses can help coordinate care to increase patient safety with medication administration and
reduce costs.
Identify stakeholders with whom nurses would need to coordinate to drive quality and safety enhancements
with medication administration.
Competency 5: Apply professional, scholarly, evidence-based strategies to communicate in a manner that
supports safe and effective patient care.
Communicate using writing that is clear, logical, and professional with correct grammar and spelling using
current APA style.
Allen, M. (2013). How many die from medical mistakes in U.S. hospitals? Retrieved from
Kohn, L. T., Corrigan, J., & Donaldson, M. S. (Eds.). (2000). To err is human: Building a safer health system.
Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Professional Context
As a baccalaureate-prepared nurse, you will be responsible for implementing quality improvement (QI) and
patient safety measures in health care settings. Effective quality improvement measures result in systemic and
organizational changes, ultimately leading to the development of a patient safety culture.
Consider a previous experience or hypothetical situation pertaining to medication errors, and consider how the
error could have been prevented or alleviated with the use of evidence-based guidelines.
Choose a specific condition of interest surrounding a medication administration safety risk and incorporate
evidence-based strategies to support communication and ensure safe and effective care.
For this assessment:
Analyze a current issue or experience in clinical practice surrounding a medication administration safety risk
and identify a quality improvement (QI) initiative in the health care setting.

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