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Safe and quality nursing practice capabilities comprise of skills, knowledge, and approaches that are essential in the nursing discipline in an effort to accomplish quality and safe care services. These competencies include patient centered care, which recognizes the patient as the pivotal person in care delivery, as well as quality, whereby data and enhancement methods are utilized in the provision of optimized care. Additionally, inter-professional teamwork and coordination, safety practices, evidence-based practices, and incorporation of informatics competencies are utilized in the achievement of integrated and high quality service delivery in the care centers. Informatics utilizes information and technology in a bid to mitigate the occurrence of mistakes in the critical decision making. Evidence-based practice utilizes the most reliable practices, which have medical expertise and patient preference for the service provision. Inter-professional teamwork and coordination improve the exchange of information and respect. Safety competency is significant in a bid to reduce the risks of harm to both patients and care providers via the system effectiveness and nurses’ performance (Cronenwett, Sherwood & Gelmon, 2009).
The incorporation of safety and quality initiatives in nursing will be in focus. The crucial areas to be highlighted include the definition of safety competency including the knowledge, skills, and attitude of providers, importance of safety in service delivery, implications of safety in nursing research, practice, and education. Finally, the ways, in which safety competency improves the working environment in terms of cost, safety, and patient satisfaction will be highlighted.
Definition of Safety Competency
Patient safety is described as the minimization and mitigation of risky acts in the health care system, and application of the best practices in a bid to yield optimal patient care results. Human factors and unsafe nursing practices, such as dangerous abbreviation, are examined. Effective techniques that reduce the reliance on memory are crucial in reducing the harm associated with forgetfulness. The different classes of hazards and errors in patient care should be outlined in order to attach importance to every risk. A safety culture should be cultivated using better communication, collaboration, and reporting of incidents due to errors.
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The safety competencies have critical domains; firstly, the contribution to a patient safety culture, which is a commitment to utilizing key patient safety knowledge, skills, and attitudes to the routine activities. Secondly, the coordination in teams of safe patient care, whereby there should be inter-professional teamwork in order to maximize safety and quality of the patient care. Additionally, the effective communication, so as to promote patient safety and the management of safety risks through the anticipation, recognition, and management of the situations that predispose the patients to risks, should be in place (Vaismoradi, 2012). The optimization of the human and environmental factors is important in the management of the association between an individual and the environmental features, so as to optimize patient’s safety. Finally, the recognition of the occurrence of adverse incidents and effective response reduce patient harm, ensure full disclosure, and prevent recurrence.
Importance of Safety Competency
The most significant aim of creating a safety culture is to reduce harm that is caused to the patients and care givers. The crucial benefits of creating a safety culture in the healthcare facilities are the following: creation of safety priority in institutions, improved teamwork, enhanced patient involvement, and enhanced openness. Additionally, safety advocates for critical goals and values. The feedback is non-punitive when adverse incidents are committed (Qsen.org, 2014).
In the safety culture, a balance is stroked between not blaming people for errors, and not accommodating egregious behavior. The balance is termed as just culture. The attention must be concentrated on the effective teamwork, so as to achieve the aim of safe and high-quality care. Initially, blame culture has been pervasive in the health system. The focus has always been on trying to find the individual at fault for the disciplining of the offender. This causes hiding instead of reporting of errors, which is against the safety culture (Cronenwett, Sherwood & Gelmon, 2009). A patient safety culture should emphasize on excellence, accountability, honesty, mutual respect, and integrity, instead of being punitive. The focus should shift from who caused the problem to what went wrong.
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Implications of Safety Competency
Globally, the safety practices are integrated into the nursing profession. The departments involved are education, research, and practice. The programs include the establishmentof safety educational levels, application of the safety culture into the significant manuals of training centers, and inclusion of curriculum to disseminate the culture. Educational initiatives, which offer knowledge on these practices and aid the tutors to change the curriculum to permit the inclusion of the competencies in the learning system before the issuance of licenses, must be followed. There are conferences and forums, where the tutors gather and exchange information about the safety culture training techniques (Liao, 2012).
Nursing Practice and Research
Numerous schools are introducing patient safety concept in the nursing courses. The content encompasses patient safety goals enabling the learners to acquire knowledge of the classes of errors and hazards in healthcare. Intermediate and advanced information programs include the discussion of research on the interruptions on medication errors in the courses, such as pharmacology and attendance of root cause by evaluating a capstone clinical experience. Enhancement of safety culture in nursing education can only be achieved if the educators are knowledgeable and current on the components of safety (Vaismoradi, 2012).
Safety Competency’s Improvements on the Working Environment
Safety competency enhances satisfaction by involving patients in the process of care delivery. The patients and their families are given top priority in the care process. It is significant that the medical practitioners include the patients and their families when making vital decisions about therapy, provision of educational information, and preparation of discharge plans (Cronenwett, Sherwood & Gelmon, 2009). These activities permit patients to be informed about their care; thereby, correcting any misunderstandings or misinformation. This promotes patient satisfaction.
The competencies are significant in the offering of high quality and equally safe services to the patients and the caregivers themselves. Culture of safety and other competencies should be integrated into the school system of medical practitioners. The system hazards, risks, knowledge, skills, and attitude information should be imparted to the learners. This promotes the utilization of safety culture; thereby, enhancing safety for the patients. Safety culture impacts the working surroundings in terms of costs, patient fulfillment, and safety. Equally, this should be replicated in all the five competencies, so as to achieve optimal service delivery to the patients.
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