The shift towards technology in healthcare is transforming the delivery of healthcare services, and homecare is increasingly becoming the preferred option for patients. As a result, patient safety is crucial to ensure that patients receive high-quality care that meets their needs. The National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG) provide guidelines to healthcare providers on how to ensure patient safety in different settings, including homecare. In this post, I will discuss the five NPSGs for homecare and how nurses can ensure that they are met.
The five NPSGs for homecare are as follows:
- Identify Patients Correctly: This NPSG aims to prevent errors that may occur during the identification of patients in the homecare setting. Nurses can ensure that they meet this goal by using two patient identifiers, such as the patient’s name and date of birth, before administering any medication or performing any procedure.
- Use Medications Safely: This NPSG aims to prevent medication errors in the homecare setting. Nurses can ensure that they meet this goal by verifying the medication and dosage with the patient or caregiver before administration. They should also document medication administration in the patient’s medical record.
- Prevent Infection: This NPSG aims to prevent infections that may occur in the homecare setting. Nurses can ensure that they meet this goal by following infection control protocols, such as hand hygiene, and using personal protective equipment when necessary.
- Prevent Falls: This NPSG aims to prevent falls in the homecare setting. Nurses can ensure that they meet this goal by assessing the patient’s risk of falling and implementing fall prevention strategies, such as ensuring that the patient’s environment is free from hazards.
- Identify Patient Safety Risks: This NPSG aims to identify patient safety risks in the homecare setting. Nurses can ensure that they meet this goal by conducting a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s home environment and identifying any potential safety risks.
The use of technology in homecare has many benefits, including improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs. A study by Bardach et al. (2020) found that the use of telehealth in homecare led to a reduction in hospital readmissions and emergency department visits. However, the study also highlighted the need for adequate training for nurses to use the technology effectively and safely.
The shift towards homecare will impact my day-to-day nursing practice in several ways. As a nurse, I will need to familiarize myself with the different technologies used in homecare and ensure that I receive adequate training to use them safely and effectively. I will also need to assess the patient’s home environment regularly to identify any potential safety risks and implement strategies to prevent falls and infections. Additionally, I will need to educate patients and caregivers on the importance of identifying patients correctly and using medications safely.
In conclusion, the shift towards homecare is inevitable, and nurses must ensure that they meet the NPSGs for homecare to provide safe and high-quality care to their patients. The use of technology in homecare has many benefits, but nurses must receive adequate training to use it safely and effectively.