By Kaleigh Kopacz, Endicott Junior
Every year 15,700 Americans die from homicide. 43,400 die from motor vehicle accidents. There is a perception that our healthcare systems are the safest and best in the world, but take another look at this fact and think again: up to 98,000 die from preventable medical errors. Most of these errors are due in large part to the complexity of the healthcare system itself, including medication errors, errors of omission, illegible orders, lack of care coordination, and rapidly expanding clinical knowledge.
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is a think tank in Cambridge, MA dedicated to solving the issue of preventable medical errors. Through their research on Quality and Safety in healthcare, they are discovering new and better ways to make healthcare safer for both the patients and professionals. One initiative that has come out of IHI’s research has been the adoption of checklists similar to ones used in the aviation industry which, as we know, is statistically a safe industry.
The Open School for Health Professionals is a student-run organization comprised of multidisciplinary students who share the common goal of eliminating preventable healthcare errors. The Open School offers free online classes which, upon completion of the courses and modules, lead to a certificate in quality improvement. Our Open School Chapter is a collaboration between Endicott College, Salem State University and North Shore Community College Schools of Nursing along with Northeast Health Systems (specifically, our neighbor Beverly Hospital). It is the belief of the IHI that today’s healthcare problems need to be solved by those who think “out of the box” – and who better to do this than students? With students’ motivation, determination, and enthusiasm, we are perfect for this task.
This year, as the Student Chapter Leaders, we would like to extend an invitation to the Endicott Community that all students are welcome to join the Open School. The Open School may be of interest to students studying Psychology, Biotechnology, Business or Computer Science who may, at some point in time, enter the healthcare field in their career. In our first meeting, we are going to give an introduction to the students of what the IHI is and what its main focus is. Also in this meeting, we plan on discussing patient literacy and the question of whether or not our patients really understand what we are telling them. In another one of our meetings we hope to have a geriatric simulation where the students will discover some of the deficits that elderly experience. Having had experienced the deficits may allow us to understand how to better care for and communicate with elderly patients. The last meeting of the semester before our holiday break will consist of our chapter creating and writing a simulation. Our focus for the simulation will be patient safety and patient care; we are fortunate enough to have a simulation lab and we plan to act out our simulation there. With the faculty’s help, guidance, and knowledge we are sure this year will be filled with many great things.
Additional Nursing News:
We’re proud to announce that Endicott College’s Master of Science Program in Nursing Education and Nursing Administration has received Candidate Status from the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) for two years (August 2011 – August 2013).
Candidate Status is the first step toward NLNAC Accreditation and is granted following a review of a nursing education program’s potential to achieve NLNAC accreditation. The areas reviewed are: Faculty, Curriculum, and Resources. Once a program has been granted Candidate Status it must seek full accreditation within two years. Endicott College will seek full accreditation in the fall of 2012.