Inadequate medical data, overworked staff, and poor teamwork are prompting the occurrence of drug errors in seven out of 10 care home residents, suggests research in Quality and Safety in Health Care. This is despite a government pledge in 2000 to cut the number of drug errors following the publication of a report on medical mistakes. The findings are based on a random sample of 256 residents in 55 care homes located in West Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire, and central London. Each care home resident was taking an average of eight medicines each. One or more drug errors were made in seven out of 10 (69.5% or 178) cases, with the average number of mistakes just under two for each resident.
U.S. News & World Report examines government data from more than 15, 500 nursing homes to determine which are the nation's best: "At the core of the rankings is the data and ratings found on Nursing Home Compare, a federal website created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The CMS collects and analyzes information on almost all nursing homes - all that accept Medicare or Medicaid residents - and rates the facilities on numerous measures, from safe food preparation to the amount of nursing care per resident" (Comarow, 10/5). This information was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with kind permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has responded to today's study* on care homes' use of medicines. The study outlined that drug errors occurred in seven out of 10 care home residents. John Turk NPA Chief Executive said: "The safe management of medicines in care homes is vital as many residents will take complex regimes of medicines for a variety of long term conditions. These vulnerable patients deserve close attention from the NHS." "Health professionals, including pharmacists are working hard to provide good care, but they need a clear framework in which to operate. We would urge Government to ensure local care is better co-ordinated by the NHS and to involve pharmacy in local planning and implementation.
Patients continue to enter home healthcare ''sicker and quicker, " often with complex health problems that may require extensive nursing care. This increases the risk of needlestick injuries in home healthcare nurses. While very few studies have focused on the risks of home healthcare, it is the fastest growing healthcare sector in the U.S. In a recent study, led by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, the rate of needlestick-type injuries was 7.6 per 100 nurses. At this rate, the scientists estimate that there are nearly 10, 000 such injuries each year in home care nurses. The findings, reported in the paper, "The Prevalence and Risk Factors for Percutaneous Injuries in Registered Nurses in the Home Health Care Sector, " were published in the September 2009 issue of American Journal of Infection Control.
Retired Arizona Nurse Among 10 Americans Chosen To Receive National Award For Her Work To Address The Needs Of Elderly Native Americans
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has announced its selection of Frances Stout, a retired registered nurse and chairperson of the Tohono O'odham Nursing Care Authority (TONCA) in Sells, Ariz., to receive a Community Health Leaders Award. She is one of 10 extraordinary Americans who received the RWJF honor for 2009 at a ceremony at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Stout helped to establish the first skilled nursing facility for elderly Native Americans for the Tohono O'odham Nation, a federally recognized Indian tribe. Previously, the elderly had to leave the reservation for skilled nursing care. With the benefit of her 33-year nursing career, Stout contributed to the creation of the 60-bed skilled nursing facility, the first of its kind on the Tohono O'odham Nation reservation.
The Washington Times reports that an "insurance plan championed by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy that would help elderly or disabled people avoid nursing homes ironically adds yet another sticking point to the comprehensive health care reform plans" in Congress. Moderate Democrats and Republicans worry the Community Living Services and Support Act will increase the deficit and make the federal government responsible for another insurance program. "Under the proposal in the House-passed version of the overhaul, the CLASS Act fund would collect monthly premiums, estimated to be $65 in 2011, from the wages of all working Americans, unless they elect to opt out - a technique used to help drive participation.