Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-56f9d74cfd-5k9ck Total loading time: 0.572 Render date: 2022-06-27T06:52:19.521Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Book contents

57 - Systematic Approaches to Preventing Errors in the Care of the Elderly

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 May 2010

Christine Arenson
Affiliation:
Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia
Jan Busby-Whitehead
Affiliation:
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Kenneth Brummel-Smith
Affiliation:
Florida State University
James G. O'Brien
Affiliation:
University of Louisville, Kentucky
Mary H. Palmer
Affiliation:
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
William Reichel
Affiliation:
Georgetown University, Washington DC
Get access

Summary

INTRODUCTION

According to estimates from the Institute of Medicine, 44,000–98,000 patients die in U.S. hospitals annually because of injuries sustained because of errors. Unsafe and inadequate care in other settings such as physician offices, emergency departments, and nursing homes compounds the problem. This chapter will review three systematic approaches to preventing errors in the care of the elderly:

  1. Improving coordination of care, especially during transitions of care

  2. Reducing medication errors through improved guidelines and practices for prescribers, nurses, and pharmacists, and systems for tracking and reporting medication errors

  3. Health information technology (IT), including computerized alerts and reminders and decision support systems, and electronic health records (EHRs).

COORDINATION DURING TRANSITIONS OF CARE

Problem

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (November 1999 Institute of Medicine [IOM] Report) reports that communication issues were the root cause of approximately 65% of the 2,966 sentinel events identified from 1995 to 2004, and approximately 64% of the 3,548 sentinel events reported by 2005.

“Hand-offs,” or transfers of patient care, are inevitable in health care. Home to facility, facility to facility, shift to shift, caregiver to caregiver intensive care and emergency department transfers or procedure back to floor and visa versa, and facility to home and/or home care are some examples of occasions when effective communication is critical or crucial to ensure that safe care is rendered. The potential for error then because of missed communication is multiplied when dealing with a geriatric population struggling with the complexities of comorbid disease conditions and health care treatments, confusing medical jargon, and the fear that can be associated with unfamiliar surroundings.

Type
Chapter
Information
Reichel's Care of the Elderly
Clinical Aspects of Aging
, pp. 577 - 586
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×