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Approaches for Reducing Medical Errors Within the Clinical Settings

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Seminar paper from the year 2018 in the subject Medicine - Hospital Environment, Clinical Medicine, grade: 1, Egerton University, language: English, abstract: In retrospect, it is apparent that the healthcare setting is shifting from the traditional practice to evidence based practice which is characterized by safety and quality of care. As such, the paradigm of evidence based practice seems to identify the twenty-first century healthcare profession as an evolved version of the historical practice. Despite the observed changes in professionalism and conceptionalization of practice, an array of clinical issues that compromise patients' safety and treatment outcomes continue to be witnessed. One of the most common clinical issues that I have witnessed both in clinical placement and laboratory simulations is the issue of medical errors. It is quite surprising that this clinical issue has become highly pronounced across the continuum of care setting, ranging from medical diagnosis to nursing interventions. According to Grober and Bohnen (2005), medical errors have become a significant challenge in public health and their threat to patient's safety raises concern. From a theoretical perspective, medical error bears different definitions. Currently, there is no standardized nomenclature for medical error's definition. However, some few studies have investigated 'medical error' directly and proposed universally acceptable definitions of this phenomenon. In general, medical error can be defined as any action that can result to adverse patient outcomes (Hofer & Hayward 2000). Based on the principle of evidence based practice, medical error has an immense relevance to contemporary nursing practice. The clinical rationale for this perspective is based on the fact that nurses are at the central point of patients' care. They are required to carry out nursing interventions in the course of care where their actions are defined by various clinical and nursing standards. As such, nurses play an integral role in determining patient outcomes. This demonstrates how medical errors impact the nursing practice, more than any other field in healthcare setting.