Mindfulness Meditation Can Improve Safety in Your Practice

Mindfulness meditation is a popular topic in the media now. Research has already demonstrated the clinical benefits of mindfulness-based stress reduction for patients with chronic pain or anxiety disorders | ONS Voice

Although there’s been limited research about the benefits of mindfulness stress reduction for oncology nurses and their patients, some evidence suggests that engaging in mindfulness exercises could lead to a safer environment.

Understanding human behaviors as they relate to attention and awareness is important. So much of our human behavior is automated. Consider how often you may switch into auto-pilot as you go through your day. Have you arrived at your house after a long shift and realized you don’t remember driving through that tunnel or over that bridge you cross every day? These are examples of mindless behaviors—something psychologists recognize as the antithesis of mindfulness and attention.

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Enhancing Patient Safety Through Physician Health and Well-being Research.

Keeping medical practitioners healthy is an important consideration for workforce satisfaction and retention, as well as public safety | Journal of Patient Safety

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However, there is limited evidence demonstrating how to best care for this group. The absence of data is related to the lack of available funding in this area of research. Supporting investigations that examine physician health often “fall through the cracks” of traditional funding opportunities, landing somewhere between patient safety and workforce development priorities. To address this, funders must extend the scope of current grant opportunities by broadening the scope of patient safety and its relationship to physician health. Other considerations are allocating a portion of doctors’ licensing fees to support physician health research and encourage researchers to collaborate with interested stakeholders who can underwrite the costs of studies. Ultimately, funding studies of physician health benefits not only the community of doctors but also the millions of patients receiving care each year.

Full reference: Brooks, E. et al. (2017) Investing in Physicians Is Investing in Patients: Enhancing Patient Safety Through Physician Health and Well-being Research. Journal of Patient Safety: Published online: July 20, 20.7

Learning and Mindfulness: Improving Perioperative Patient Safety

Graling, P.R. (2017) AORN Journal. 105(3) pp. 317–321

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Image source: stavos – Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In 1980, McLain identified the top five risk management issues in the OR as wrong patient; wrong procedure performed; improper consent; unreconciled sponge, needle, or instrument count; and burns from equipment.

Approximately 20 years later, the Institute of Medicine report To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System described the complexity of health care systems in the United States and the epidemic occurrence of medical errors. Despite widespread awareness of medical errors, there has been little progress in this area to improve patient safety, and sentinel or never events continue to occur in the United States.

Read the abstract here