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    Unit 4: Workarounds and Their Implications for Patient Safety

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    What is a workaround? Identify a workaround (specific to technology used in a hospital setting) that you have used or perhaps seen someone else use, and analyze why you feel this risk-taking behavior was chosen over behavior that conforms to a safety culture. What are the risks? Are there benefits? Why or why not?

    Discuss the current patient safety characteristics used by your current workplace or clinical site. Identify at least three aspects of your workplace or clinical environment that need to be changed with regard to patient safety (including confidentiality), and then suggest strategies for change.


Subject Nursing Pages 2 Style APA


Workarounds and their Implications for Patient Safety

            Workarounds in nursing can be described as behaviors that differ from the organizationally intended or prescribed procedures. Workarounds temporarily ‘fix’ or circumvent hindrances of the perceived workflow to achieve the goal more effectively or meet a goal (Waterson, 2014). A technology workaround I have seen being used is intentional blocks that aim at enhancing resident safety. An example of this technology implementation is a dual medication administration system of documentation. The implementation ensured medical staff first document medication preparation before they write down the actual medication administration. The method appeared cumbersome since the medical staff had never documented medication in this way before. Prior to this method was implemented, medical staff would document both administration and preparation of medication before actual administration of the drugs. The behavior was chosen over the previous one that conforms to hospital culture because it ensures the drugs prepared are the ones being administered to patients hence their safety.

The current safety characteristics in my clinical site include empowering everyone so that they can question or stop a particular activity when things do not appear right. Secondly, the site creates awareness of everyone on the risks that might be inherent in what the site does. One aspect of patient safety that should be changed in this organization is continuous learning and improvement of real values, the confidentiality of the organization and hospital discharges. One strategy for change is training staff not to discuss when adverse events and human errors happen openly (Waterson, 2014). Secondly, the clinic needs to re-engineer hospital discharges to reduce readmissions that are preventable. Learning and improvement of valid values can be done through training programs to prevent adverse events and human errors.


Waterson, P. (2014). Patient Safety Culture : Theory, Methods, and Application. Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate.


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