Improving primary care access is all about getting supply and demand in equilibrium. That’s one reason hospitals employ floating and temporary nursing staff, because it helps them manage supply and demand shifts. For example, sending a nurse from their home unit to one that requires more staff than originally scheduled, helps manage the increased patient load and care demand.
Care delivery is a complex process and one that compounds in complexity when variables are introduced. In fact, facilitating safe and effective care depends upon two key factors: the knowledge and skills of the clinical staff and care delivery design. That’s why healthcare organizations employ process standardization. Because as the uniformity of essential clinical care functions increases, the potential for errors decreases. That’s why care delivery design enhancements from information technology workflows to standardizing medication labels can improve patient care.
What do 62 cargo ships waiting to berth off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach mean to the average business? If you don’t purchase supplies from an offshore location, you may not think it means much. But regardless of whether you purchase labels from a domestic or international source, the 13,640,000 ton backlog of fully loaded container ships serve as a visible reminder that lead times and costs are increasing for a broad spectrum of supplies. And when those are the items you need to ship your products, identify IV lines, instruct medication usage and operate your business, supply outages are not an option. But there are ways to mitigate these issues. Take these 5 steps to minimize label cost increases and avoid shipping delays.
Will the fall of 2021 become known for the “twindemic?” As we approach flu and respiratory illnesses season and with hospitalizations on the rise due to the Delta variant, we’re about to find out. And with each virus sharing symptoms including a cough, shortness of breath, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue and sore throat, there are challenges ahead for healthcare providers and patients. The process changes healthcare organizations implemented for COVID are part of the solution, but the flu adds further complications. Use these steps to prepare for flu season in the time of COVID.
If the importance of hand hygiene and other infection prevention safeguards was taken for granted in healthcare settings, COVID-19 certainly intensified their importance. Masking, personal protective equipment, avoiding aerosol generating procedures when possible, handwashing and multiple other safety measures were essential to both a healthcare worker and a patient’s safety, maybe even survival. But for all the trauma the pandemic caused, some positive behavioral changes came from it, and hand hygiene is one of those areas. In fact, a JAMA Internal Medicine research study found that hand hygiene compliance reached more than 90% in March 2020. Yet in just over a year, many healthcare workers regressed to previous habits. Overall compliance dropped back to 2019 levels “averaging 50 percent across hospitals nationwide. It’s clear that regardless of all the data that highlights its importance, effective infection prevention programs remain an elusive goal.
How many errors do you make each day? Research suggests that regardless of the activity or task being conducted, humans make between 3-6 errors per hour! And even though that number is likely lower in settings like a veterinary practice, where excellence is emphasized, mistakes happen. It’s impossible not to look back at certain actions, diagnoses or decisions and wish they were different. But within the group of total errors that do occur, while some are impossible to prevent, others are preventable. And medication errors often fall into the preventable category. It takes effective protocols and processes to approach medication safety perfection. This post details common errors, why they happen, what to do if one does occur and concludes with 6 ways to reduce veterinary medication errors in your practice.
For most of the 67% of U.S. households or nearly 85 million families that have pets, their health is a high priority. And beyond regular check-ups, vaccines and medications that treat the common ailments their pet may confront, pet care often includes managing chronic conditions like arthritis and gum disease, especially with life spans increasing. This combination of factors contribute to the amount of medications pet owners purchase each year. In fact, in a 2019 survey among dog and cat owners who had taken their pet to the veterinarian in the past 12 months, 78% of dog owners and 62% of cat owners purchased pet medications. In addition, over 60% spent more than $100. Unfortunately, as the amount of medications dispensed increases, so do medication errors. This makes effective communication, starting with the veterinary prescription labels, even more important.
In the 1970s, Japanese automakers overtook their U.S. counterparts largely due to a focus on quality. Taking human interaction out of numerous processes enhanced the reliability of the automobile and catapulted them into a dominant share of the market. Unfortunately, healthcare organizations don’t have that same luxury. As hospitals and patient care organizations tackle quality and patient safety, the human element remains an essential part of the process.
Companies like UAL stock hundreds of items designed for the unique applications found in healthcare, veterinary practices, manufacturing and distribution operations and more. But, when you need an item with your logo, contact information, a unique color or format or there just isn’t a stock label that meets your needs, it requires a custom label. And when that happens, what is your best option? When is it cost effective to use an outside source versus your own desktop printer to produce a custom label?
With 44 million vaccines administered and numbers trending steadily upward, the COVID-19 vaccination process is starting to kick into high gear. And with each vaccination administered there are lessons learned that can serve as process improvement opportunities to ensure a better experience for future recipients. Here are six COVID-19 vaccine administration errors that providers encountered, and process improvement steps that you can take to ensure vaccine efficacy and patient safety.