1). Discusses the use of information systems to reduce the number of medical errors and their adverse implications.
Health informatics refers to the information engineering process from the acquisition, storage, retrieval and usage of healthcare information to more collaboration among healthcare providers. The three main domains of healthcare informatics include the organization, applications used to evaluate health information systems, the medical knowledge representation as well as data analysis
The most common use of the information systems to reduce the number of medical errs and adverse implication is the use of the clinical decision support systems.
The h healthcare organizations (HCO) can use the information systems such as the clinical decision support system (CDSS) to assess various errors and the risks as well as the risk factor to those errors. The results of the evaluation and assessment can be used to provide tailored assessment and interventions based on each error types.
The system can be used to assess patient condition and to schedule reminders for taking drugs or implementing a plan of care. For example, errors can be used to implement plan of care after screening the patient for the risks of cardiovascular disease, clinical test and treatment.
The information technology would also be used to assess the patient for medical sensitivity, review the patient history and determine the right dosage
2). Identify three to four common sources of medical errors and their potential implications.
There are four common sources of medical carrots
If medication is spelt wrongly, or a substitution error occurs, the patient health outcomes may be very poor. The clinicians may also write the right prescription but in the wrong patients files or records.
Discrepancies when transferring medical records from write to computerized systems. Errors during data entry can be other sources of medical error as the wrong data are entered and wrong records kept
Poor judgment is another source of medication errors. For example, when a wrong assessment is made about a patient and the wrong assessment resulted into wrong intervention, or wrong prescription. The wrong prescription has adverse effect on the health of the patient and poor health outcomes (Kihuba, 2014).
Lack of knowledge
Lack of knowledge about drugs, drug indication and contraindication, as well as possible adverse reactions and drugs sensitivity can be another cause of medical errors, there are errors that one is not tight in school and such errors can have adverse health outcomes. Lack of knowledge how to use a medical technology can also results into medical errors and the lack of knowledge about the right dosage for specific patients groups (Njie, et al, 2015).
Stress if also another major cause of errors. Stress is attributed to fatigue as the nursing duty is quite demanding and the number of hours spent working can cause fatigue in the nurses and stress. Stress has an impact on the mental capacity of the nurse and may leads to decision errors.
3). Describe ways that information technology and systems can be used to help mitigate these errors.
Information technology and system can be used to mitigate medication errors. For example, the electronic health records can be used to make faster patient decision. Whenever the doctor want to make faster and accurate decision based on patient data, they can retrieve patient date for review and decision making. Secondly, the medication errors can be prevented using alerts from the electronic health records and other health informatics. Doctors and nurses should get alerts whenever a patient is due to medication or treatment prompting the doctors to deliver the right drugs, dosage and at the right time (Bates, et al, 2001).
Communication errors is the biggest cause of medication errors as the nurses make decision on wrong information or make decision when it's too late for the customers. Poor communication can be prevented using health information technology. The health information systems can help in mitigating the errors by ensuring that patient information and medication are cross checked with the database before medical interventions are initiated. At least 60% of the medical errors can be reduced through effective use of the health informatics. The computerized order entry (CPOE) can be utilized to reduce prescription errors or chemotherapy errors as the orders are clear and is comparable to other orders in the database.
The health Information systems can also help in catching errors. For example, prescriptions can be checked against the database and the health informatics will provide an alert in case there is a discrepancy between the prescription and the database.
4). Beyond reducing errors, describe other ways the health information systems and discipline of Health Informatics as a whole can improve the quality of patient care.
Health information system enables the healthcare professions access the customer information on demand. For example, electronic health records have information about parent medical history, and known sensitivities (Snyder, et al, 2011).
Health informatics can facilitate patient centered care by providing the HCO with critical information related to the patients that would aid in decision making. Health Informatics also allows the patient to provide the hospitals with relevant information for proper decision making. In the process, the patient would exert greater control over the nature of care providers by the hospital
Clinicians may also use the health informatics to coordinate care with the patient and other clinicians. For example, when changing shifts the health informatics is used as a record for handing over patient from one shift leader to another shift leader
Snyder, C. F., Wu, A. W., Miller, R. S., Jensen, R. E., Ban tug, E. T., & Wolff, A. C. (2011). The Role Of Informatics In Promoting Patient-Centered Care. Cancer Journal (Sudbury, Mass.), 17(4), 211-218. http://doi.org/10.1097/PPO.0b013e318225ff89
Bates, D. W., Cohen, M., Leape, L. L., Overhage, J. M., Shabot, M. M., & Sheridan, T. (2001). Reducing the Frequency of Errors in Medicine Using Information Technology. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA, 8(4), 299-308.
Njie, G. J., Proia, K. K., Thota, A. B., Finnie, R. K. C., Hopkins, D. P., Banks, S. M., ... Kottke, T. E. (2015). Clinical Decision Support Systems and Prevention: A Community Guide Cardiovascular Disease Systematic Review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 49(5), 784-795. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2015.04.006
Kihuba, E., Gathara, D., Mwinga, S., Mulaku, M., Kosgei, R., Mogoa, W., ... English, M. (2014). Assessing the ability of health information systems in hospitals to support evidence-informed decisions in Kenya. Global Health Action, 7, 10.3402/gha.v7.24859. http://doi.org/10.3402/gha.v7.24859
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