-This paper should include a discussion and synthesis of above mentioned topic of Patient Safety and Inter-professional collaboration
Collaboration and principles related to the topic.
– Minimum citations of 10 peer-reviewed journals or textbooks.
Information presented/summarized must be referenced appropriately using APA style.
Patient safety is the prevention of health care mistakes that may lead to undesirable outcomes among patients. The different causes of errors in health care include system failures, factors of human nature such as inadequate knowledge and decision-making challenges, complexity within service provision technical challenges and organizational challenges where management systems fail. Patient safety promotion involves reducing the occurrence of patient error events when implementing health care operations. Patient safety mechanisms improve the quality of services within health system as it promotes ethical practices.
Health care workers are not enough globally to sustain the demands within the system thus proper mechanisms are needed to support the available systems. Measures that support patient safety and ethical practices within health care are important in curbing errors. IPC is a coordinated collective approach where health professionals’ works as a team to ensure that a patient needs are met. The domains of competencies in safety include a culture of patient safety, teamwork, anticipating and controlling risks, recognizing and responding to adverse outcomes.
Essentials of IPC include teamwork, self-governance, adequate communication, proper management functions and accountability. Patient outcomes and high quality of health services need proper measures that support IPC. IPC, which enhances teamwork, encourages a learning environment for all participants. High quality service and good patient outcomes is experienced in circumstances where IPC is tolerated. Working in groups within health should be encouraged as it improves the quality of services in health care institutions and the patient safety.
Interprofessional collaboration defined as when more than two professional health care workers with different knowledge skills join hands with caregivers, patients, communities and families has an objective of promoting improved quality of health care services. Interproffessional collaboration is a critical factor in the provision of health care services in relation to patient needs. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines patient safety as the process by which health workers prevent the occurrence of harm and injurious outcomes amongst patients. Patient safety bases on three principles including the prevention of errors, learning from the mistakes that occur and maintaining a tradition of safety within health care workers, patients and the complete health care institution.
Practices of Patient Safety
Practices of patient safety are those that reduce the occurrence of patient error events on exposure to health care operations. Patient safety operations are for instance, use of prophylaxis appropriately in the prevention of thromboembolism, appropriate sterilization measures, utilizing simulators and using computerized physician systems. These operations improve the provision of health care services and reduce safety mistakes by health professionals. National Quality Forum through the report “Standardizing a Patient Safety Taxonomy” gave a framework describing the negative effects of failure to adhere to patient safety operations (Hughes & Mitchell, 2008).
Patient safety will not be achieved if proper reporting and investigative tools and analytical ones for risk identification are not put in place. Categories of challenges within patient safety include those according to the type of error, communication challenges, clinical performance and patient management practices. The main causes of errors include latent failure involving decision-making problems, active failure during patient operations, technical challenges and organizational challenges where management systems fail. Mitigation measures for these challenges either may be universal for whole organization implementation, selective for locations with high risk or indicated which is specific to a given practice (Hughes & Mitchell, 2008).
The Global Patient Challenge, which started in the year 2005, had an aim of enhancing the commitment of nations in ensuring that infections that are associated with health care are reduced globally. Since its launch, more than 78% of global population has shown cooperation with this objective. The challenge has ensured that countries, professionals and organizations join the campaign for making the health system safer and ensuring that health care services provided are safer and within recommended guidelines. Hand hygiene has been the basis of control of infections and the challenge has gone beyond this through promotion of safe practices such as immunization safety, injection safety, safety in surgical procedures and emergencies, safety in blood transfusion and environmental safety (Frank & Brien, 2008).
Domains for Safety Competencies
The framework for patient safety identifies ideas for patient safety, interventions and good practices and behaviors that determine safe practices. The competencies help the health worker to work according to patients needs that encourages positive outcomes. The first domain encourages health professionals always to maintain a culture that encourages patient safety. It entails positive attitudes and ethical values that promote safety when delivering health care services. Both the health institution and the individual worker are required to implement this culture in fostering patient safety. They should be committed in minimizing patient errors, maintain proper communication of safety issues, promote healthy services and learn from the errors that occur (Frank & Brien, 2008).
Teamwork is the second domain for competency and this entails optimizing the safety of a patient by working in interprofessional groups. Collaboration within professions helps to foster effective heath interventions within communities. A working interprofessional team display skills, knowledge and attitudes encouraging collaborative practice and efficient services. The domain for effective communication that enhances patient safety encourages realistic `communication within professionals and the patient. The quality of health services depend on proper communication and thus health professionals need to enhance interpersonal relationships organizationally enhancing the safety of the patient (Frank & Brien, 2008).
Anticipating distinguishing and controlling risky situations that may lead to patient errors is another domain. It is important to accept that errors are apparent in hospitals thus putting a system to ensure that they do not occur is essential. Proper management of tasks, sober decision-making and teamwork are important avenues to curb errors. Optimization of external and internal factors is a significant domain in patient safety. Understanding environmental factors and human attributes that guide the decision making process is essential to avoid biases that may lead to poor decision-making (Frank & Brien, 2008).
Recognizing and adequately responding to adverse outcomes is the last domain. It is important that health workers timely react to adverse outcomes thus preventing harm to patients. Health workers need to discuss with their clients on the services provided to obtain their consent before any care is given. It is required that patients and professionals maintain a culture that encourages patient safety and promotes high quality services. Safety competencies should be included in curricula for health workers to promote ethical practices within the health sector (Frank & Brien, 2008).
Interprofessional Collaboration (IPC)
Interprofessional collaboration (IPC) entails an improved version of the conventional teamwork approach in health care system. Through interprofessional collaboration, various groups of varying professional background work with a common goal of ensuring a working health care system. This involves making a collaborative agreement among all the stakeholders involved and the contributions of individual professionals are recognized. Challenges that arise when different professionals come for a common purpose is also established within interprofessional collaboration. These challenges include poor communication, issues of power, challenges in definition of responsibilities and conflicting roles. These challenges if not addressed may result in negative effects within the health system for instance poor service provision (Leathard, 2004).
The process of interprofessional collaboration is dynamic and there is no surety that its implementation is easy. Development of trust and appreciation of individual professional backgrounds is essential for a working interprofessional collaboration system. IPC is highly regarded as the appropriate approach in making sure that patient errors reduce. IPC improves communication mechanisms within the health care system. Other objectives of IPC include reducing health services costs, improving coordination within the health care system to reduce inefficiencies such as delayed treatment, building patient centered practices and maintaining patient safety within the health care system (Gilbert, Yan, & Hoffman, 2010).
The domains for interprofessional collaborative processes include ethics in practice, defined responsibilities, teamwork and interprofessional communication. Firstly, Values and professional ethics entail patient centered mechanisms and considering community expectations. Health care workers need to work with a common goal, shared values and with respect. Secondly, definition of responsibilities requires health professionals to understand how they complement one another when from different backgrounds professionally. Thirdly, teamwork encourages collective decision-making and problem solving approaches and lastly interprofessional communication involves success in working together through a universal language, which curbs inherent barriers (Panel, 2011).
Interprofessional tensions may lead to poor delivery of services within the health system. Calls are made to all the health professionals to encourage Interprofessional collaboration that encourages equity in health systems and promoting safety within patients. Teamwork a component of IPC enhances structural team flexibility discourages hierarchical requirements and promotes collective decision-making. To encourage functional teams there is need to understand guidelines overriding the relationship between the various professions and specialties so as to create a working environment within the health institution (Lingard, Espin, Evans, & Hawryluck, 2004).
Although encouraging the growth of interprofessional collaboration is okay, evidence shows that margins between professional backgrounds have evolved instead of reducing. Some health institutions have not introduced the concept of IPC as they consider it risky as it establishes ambiguity and may derail existing hierarchical orders. The factors that to understand as they have determined the development of interprofessional dynamics include case management, case mix and public management. There are different models used in interprofessional collaboration such as collaborative working, collaborative grading and interprofessional consultation thus, they should be considered in making the IPC system effective (Leathard, 2004).
Principles Guiding IPC
The principle of patient centered services is important within interprofessional collaboration, as collaboration is required amongst patients, health care providers and health institutions through professional’s individual efforts and commitment within the whole system. Health care employees work collectively to maintain improved health among patients and they include the patients within decision-making processes. Patients should know their rights before any service is rendered to them and they need to take part in deciding their health choices (D’Amour, Ferrada-Videla, San, & Beaulieu, 2005).
Professionals in the field of health must ensure that all clients afford and access all appropriate services within right conditions. Care and care provider continuity support is essential in ensuring a working IPC and the provision of high quality services. IPC also encourages the principle of decision-making practices that are based on documented evidence. Decision-making requires proper guidelines, researched evidence and protocols supporting the IPC. Outcomes after service provision require analyzing to assess their impact and effectiveness. Professionals within the health system collaborate ensuring an ethical community is developed; positive health impacts are realized and encourage innovation within the field of health (Panel, 2011).
According to Panel (2011), Epidemiology is a significant principle of IPC employing health status data and demographics in the prioritization of service provision. Health trends within populations need assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. Equity and impartiality are encouraged in service provision. All populations have a right to proper health through social justice and IPC need to be linked to ensuring health promotion and population-based health services. Ethics should be maintained in IPC as different competencies come with different ideas. Health professionals should work in a collaborative manner so as the impact of their efforts throughout the health system is felt.
Structural elements considered in the implementation of IPC need careful designing to ensure success. Interprofessional education needs considerate support to ensure that health professionals tolerate IPC. Proper managerial planning and human resource management functions are a requisite for the implementation of IPC. Appropriate financial support is also requisite and infrastructure and technological factors determines a successful IPC. A regulatory framework for health professionals and guidelines governing IPC process is significant while monitoring and evaluation systems need support to maintain a high quality IPC practice.
Role of interprofessional collaboration in patient safety
Firth-Cozens (2001) argues that Organizational cultures that enable health professionals to learn through each level including during erroneous events is significant in improving patient safety. Organizational cultures are the efficient tools that promote learning to take place within an institution. Many studies recognize the benefits of teamwork in ensuring patient safety. IPC encourages attention to patient needs, supports teamwork and cooperation and promotes positive feedbacks from patients. Teamwork has the role of creating an attention to patient safety not because an individual professional cannot offer the best services but because it reduces fatigue and stress related conditions that may discourage proper care.
Functional teams with clearly defined roles and responsibilities and work together to achieve their objectives through appreciation of others responsibilities experience reduced levels of stress than teams without any guidelines. They allow participation recognition of different ideas and valuing all contributions thus reducing workload within professionals. To capture the effectiveness of a team, one will look at the properties of the work, guidelines on teamwork and definition of roles that lead to success (World Health Organization, 2008).
Effectiveness of a team relies on different measures. An enhanced decision-making is an important measure. Traditionally protocols, guidelines and previous training knowledge is used in decision making practices. A multidisciplinary mechanism is important in decision making process as is improves how a team addresses tasks and encourages participation. Multidisciplinary approach enhances support to junior professionals thus promote learning and reduces the levels of stress. To improve on patient safety individual and group decision-making should be appropriate (Zwarenstein, Goldman, & Reeves, 2009).
Use of interprofessional collaboration within health settings ensures an attentive ear to the patients needs. Though not professional, patients form part of the team by providing crucial information about their health and IPC encourages inclusion of different professionals who are able to define different information. Working through teams enhances innovative solutions as they discourage individual solutions that rely on local challenges and local situations. Teams of multidisciplinary nature offer solutions to critical problems that are long lasting thus encouraging safety of the patient (Zwarenstein, Goldman, & Reeves, 2009).
IPC encourages commitment and accountability within professionals through creation of an appropriate organizational structure. Studies on attitude of health professionals toward teamwork show that they hardly recognize the influence of psychological attributes on performance. They also indicate that health professionals appreciate that increased teamwork may result to improved staff wellbeing and enhanced patient outcomes. Research suggests that improved communication and associations amongst health professionals with team training programs will improve on professional behavior and patient outcomes. There is need to determine if there are team knowledge and behavior that encourage effective teamwork within different fields of health and support the IPC approaches (Manser, 2009).
Providing services in the field of health is interdisciplinary requiring professionals from different fields. Organizational coordination is an important factor that determines the safety of patient and the general quality of services provided. Patient safety determines quality of health care and to reduce patient errors interprofessional collaboration should be encouraged. IPC is a dynamic process and for it to be effective all stakeholders need to appreciate the contributions of each individual, mutual respect should be maintained, communication should be enhanced and continuous training and development programs should highly be encouraged
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