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The Effects of “To Err Is Human” in Nursing Practice

The 1999 landmark study titled “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System” highlighted the unacceptably high incidence of U.S. medical errors and put forth recommendations to improve patient safety. Since its publication, the recommendations in “To Err Is Human’” have guided significant changes in nursing practice in the United States.

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In this Discussion, you will review these recommendations and consider the role of health information technology in helping address concerns presented in the report.

To prepare:

  • Review the summary of “To Err Is Human” presented in the Plawecki and Amrhein article found in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Consider the following statement:

“The most significant barrier to improving patient safety identified in “To Err Is Human”is a “lack of awareness of the extent to which errors occur daily in all health care settings and organizations (Wakefield, 2008).”

  • Review “The Quality Chasm Series: Implications for Nursing” focusing on Table 3: “Simple Rules for the 21st Century Health Care System.” Consider your current organization or one with which you are familiar. Reflect on one of the rules where the “current rule” is still in operation in the organization and consider another instance in which the organization has effectively transitioned to the new rule.

Post on or before Day 3 your thoughts on how the development of information technology has helped address the concerns about patient safety raised in the “To Err Is Human” report. Summarize how informatics has assisted in improving health care safety in your organization and areas where growth is still needed.

Reference:
Wakefield, M. K. (2008). The Quality Chasm series: Implications for nursing. In R. G. Hughes (Ed.), Patient safety and quality: An evidence-based handbook for nurses (Vol. 1, pp. 47–66). Rockville, MD: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/nurseshdbk/docs/WakefieldM_QCSIN.pdf

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