State the National Patient Safety goal you have researched, the background on this problem
and why it is important for patients and nurses to follow this goal
Body of Paper:
Review of four (4) nursing journal articles on your assigned National Patient Safety goal!!!!
(Goal 15: Risk assessment for patient population: 1)Identify patients at risk for suicide,
applies to:Behavioral Health Care, Hospital, 2)Identify risks associated with home oxygen
therapy, such as home fires, applies to: Home Care
National Patient safety
Patient safety is critical in ensuring the best possible outcomes for healthcare institutions.
However, some conditions and treatments pose higher risks for patients due to their nature such
as high and lethal dosage of cancer drugs, home oxygen, and suicidal thoughts for veterans and
adolescents who might be suffering from psychological conditions. It is important for nurses and
other healthcare personnel to assess the risks that are posed in each patient cases, and come up
with ways of reducing the risk levels, or having them eliminated at once. It is critical to be aware
of the risks that different patients are exposed to, and the means through which the safety of
patients can be improved.
Improving patient safety through reduction of risks
This part of the health safety paper will cover four journals on different risks that different
patients might suffer from. The sections will also cover the actions that can be implemented by
health professionals to ensure reduction of risks to patients and their loved ones.
NATIONAL PATIENT SAFETY 2
Identify risks associated with home oxygen therapy, such as home fires, applies to: Home Care
According to Cooper (2015), 14-51% of cigarette smokers continue with their habit;
which endangers those that use oxygen in their homes. The presence of oxygen in the homes
contributes to an improvement of the health of those that are ailing. However, it also contributes
to an increase in the risk of flammability in the home. Unfortunately, most cigarette smokers in
places with home oxygen fail to report the exact danger that their habits might cause the
individuals probably feel some guilt because of the increased risks and dangers that they pose to
their loved ones and homes. In 2010, about 4.3% of the United States population as estimated to
have experienced home fires based on data from an extrapolation in Maine. Tobacco smoking,
cooking, flammable materials, and outdoor fire related activities were blamed as some of the
greatest contributors to home fires in the country and globe. Countries such as Finland and
Romania had the highest rates of fires while Switzerland and Italy had the lowest level of oxygen
related home fires that resulted in deaths in Europe, between 2008 and 2010. The level of home
oxygen fires is greater among elderly patients which could be attributed to the poor physical
agility in comparison to that of younger individuals. Healthcare professionals have an ethical
duty to ensure that they contribute to the reduction of fires especially for elderly patients and their
relatives and neighbors. Most tobacco smokers allege that they have an addiction, and might
therefore experience difficulty in trying to quit their habit. The home oxygen containers are fitted
with safety fittings or tubing to minimize the flow of oxygen in case of fires especially in elderly
home cares where patient mobility is likely to be low.
Predictive modeling and concentration of the risk of suicide: implications for preventive
interventions in veterans
NATIONAL PATIENT SAFETY 3
According to McCarthy et al (2015), there has been a high rate of suicides among veterans
in the country (US). The health system concerned with the well-being of veterans (Veterans
Health Administration) initiated a program to ensure a steady reduction or maintenance of a low
number of suicides among veterans. The VHA program did not contribute to a dramatic reduction
in the number of suicides among the intended population, but resulted in a stable rate of suicide
control in comparison to the rate of suicide among other populations. According to McCarthy et
al. (2015), a predictive modeling can be utilized in finding out the at risk individuals among the
population, and therefore reduce the number of individuals that commit suicide. Based on the
results of the modeling, action steps would be implemented to ensure the reduction of the number
of those at risk, and offering of treatment services. Those that portray risks of suicide should be
involved in community or clinical based support groups based on the level of indications that
they exhibit. The health department has also proposed the ease of access and counseling for pain
management related patients; as a means of reducing the rates of suicides among veterans and
general population. According to McCarthy et al (2015), homeless unmarried males were more
likely to contemplate and execute suicidal thoughts in comparison to those individuals that had
support from their family members.
Assessing the risk for suicide in patients with cancer
All chronically ill patients might suffer psychological stress in addition to their physical
symptoms. Some cancer patients might feel that suicide would be a means of dying with dignity
since their health keeps on deteriorating. Some healthcare professionals such as nurses might
share these views, and therefore increase the risk of successful suicides for the patients.
Therefore, there is a need for a high level of assessment and knowledge regarding patient safety
for cancer related patients; in reducing suicide levels. According to Aiello-Laws (2010), the
NATIONAL PATIENT SAFETY 4
cancer patient might be contemplating suicide due to untreated depression or anxiety. The nurses
and other healthcare patients that are around the cancer patients should ensure that there are no
lethal substances or objects that are left around the patients. The cancer patients might inject
themselves with lethal doses of drugs or cut themselves with sharp objects. For patients that are
residing outside hospital confines, the nurses should involve the family or loved ones of the
patient in ensuring the reduction of risks to increase safety. Social workers or religious leaders
could be involved in the offering of visits to cancer patients that live alone so that they get
encouragement and guidance that would encourage them.
A process model for assessing adolescent risk for suicide
The level of suicides among adolescents has increased over the last two decades; at an alarming
rate. Most of the adolescents suffer from depressive or bi-polar conditions which contribute to an
increase in their suicidal tendencies and thoughts. Adolescents who had attempted to commit
suicide in the past were 18 more times likely to attempt suicide a second time. The social
conditions around the adolescents such as bullying or subjection to abuse are also likely to
contribute to an increased likelihood of abuse among adolescents. If adolescents are bullied, they
are likely to contemplate committing suicide especially if they come from unstable homes. The
adolescents would feel unappreciated and likely succumb to peer pressure or the negativity
around them. The young individuals are also likely to have higher levels of suicidal thoughts if
they are engaged in substance abuse. According to Stoelb & Chiriboga (1998), counseling and
involvement in physical activities such as sports offers some of the best ways of ensuing patient
safety among adolescents that contemplate suicide.
NATIONAL PATIENT SAFETY 5
Patient safety is one of the most critical goals for the healthcare industry Nurses and other
healthcare professionals have the duty of ensuring that patients do not suffer any danger or
avoidable death as a result of their environment or untreated psychological state. Depressed
individuals that contemplate suicide should be kept away from harmful agents and objects that
would increase their likelihood of committing suicide.
Patients that smoke or have increased risks that could contribute to fires for home oxygen users
should be briefed on possible accidents that could occur. Where necessary, the fire department
should be involved in the assessment and briefing of the possible risks of fires for home oxygen
NATIONAL PATIENT SAFETY 6
Aiello-Laws, L.B. (2010). Assessing the risk for Suicide in patients with cancer. Clinical Journal
of Oncology. 14 (6): 685- 691.
Cooper, B. G. (2015). Home Oxygen and Domestic Fires. Lung Function and Sleep. 11 (1): 1-11.
McCarthy, J., Bossarte, R., Katz, R.I., Thompson, C., Kemp, J., Hannemann, C., Nelson, C. &
Schoenbaum, M. (2015). Predictive Modeling and Concentration of the Risk of Suicide:
Implications for Prevention Interventions in the US Department of Veteran Affairs.
American Journal of Public Health. 105 (9):
Stoelb, M. & Chiriboga, J. (1998). A Process for Assessing Adolescent risk for suicide. Journal
of Adolescence. 21 359-370.