Nizwa Hospital's new safety measure to ensure nurses can focus

Energy Thursday 20/September/2018 14:24 PM
By: Times News Service
Nizwa Hospital's new safety measure to ensure nurses can focus

Muscat: To protect patients and nurses, Nizwa hospital gave nurses doing drug dispensing round special robes, that will allow them to focus without interruptions from other patients or staff.
The robes have the words 'Do not disturb, Drug round in progress' printed in English and Arabic on their backs, so that others know not to interrupt the nurses wearing them.
One of the people involved with the initiative said, “These robes should be worn during drug rounds. We hope that this can allow nurses to give the medications to their patients without being interrupted, as the wrong interruption can mean a delay in giving something like antibiotics that need to be taken at a specific time.”
Disruptions can also mean mistakes when giving medication, which is potentially dangerous.
“We want to minimize the number of cases where a nurse accidentally gives someone the wrong medicine because they were answering someone else’s questions,” the nurse from Nizwa added. “When that happens, you generally have time to fix the mistake before even handing the medicine over, but we don’t want to rely on that. It’s better to avoid a mistake than to fix it once it’s happened. This also means that nobody needs to be penalized for a mistake.
“We have other ideas in mind, but these will come in time,” she added.
So far, according to the hospital, any mistakes during drug rounds have been minor. In case someone is actually harmed by the wrong medication, specific committees will be tasked with holding the person who made the mistake accountable.
Hospitals also have a witness system designed to prevent mistakes. “This system involves two nurses working in tandem. You have one person giving medication, and another person to crosscheck and make certain that everything is done right.”
The statement from the Ministry of Health said, “Today we implemented a special robe for nurses while they do their drug rounds, on which is stated ‘Do not disturb, drug round in progress’. This is part of the hospital’s efforts in maximizing patient safety.”
A nurse from Muscat said, “It’s sounds like a funny idea but I like it. Especially during visiting hours, there are a lot of people who will interrupt a drug round with questions. I think that the patients are going to be alright either way, but this ensures that work can run smoothly.