Patient safety is such an important part of our health care system and it helps define quality health care. Keeping our patients safe is a challenging issue because errors and mistakes can and do happen. Error occurs “when a planned sequence of mental and physical activities fail to achieve the intended outcome and when this failure cannot be attributed to some chance intervention or occurrence” (Ballard, 2003). According to the Institute of Medicine, medical error resulted in as many as 98,000 preventable deaths per year; twice the rate of traffic fatalities and the estimated cost in the US could be almost 29 billion dollars (Wells, 2001). Someone has to ensure operational systems and methods are taken to help reduce the likelihood that errors occur, but who is responsible for taking these proper measurers? Is it society, patients themselves, physicians, nurses, nursing professors, administrators, researchers, physicians, or professional associations? In the long run, all of these entities are responsible for making sure the patient has the safest possible outcome. This is a nationwide and worldwide issue that will never be completely resolved because error is always prone to happen. As nurses we need to make sure we are taking all appropriate actions to limit the amount of mistakes that will put our patients at risk. Nursing definitely plays a huge part in patient safety. Nurses are directly in the core of patient care and can be caught in the middle of either witnessing medical error or being liable for a situation. Harming individuals who seek care and compassion is the last thing nurses intend to happen. The nursing shortage can take some responsibility for endangering the quality of care. When nurses are spread too thin, patients do not receive the adequate care they need and dangers are more likely to arise. In most health care settings, nursing care is more utilized than medical care is. This emphasizes the…
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