CMS's Proposed Hospital Staffing Revisions Get Cool Reception
Stephanie Hutchins, an RN in California, opposes allowing the patient or a support person to administer medications in the hospital setting. She notes that studies have shown that 30% to 50% of patients ignore or otherwise compromise instructions concerning their medication. "If a person other than the nurse administers medications in the hospital, the potential for lack of adherence and therefore lack of crucial therapeutic benefit from the prescribed meds in the hospital is high. Also, if nurses are required to monitor meds given by a person other than the nurse to ensure adherence, it would create a time backlog for the nurse, negating much of the benefit of having them given by another person."
The proposal to allow hospitals to develop their own tracking systems for infection incidents is not a good idea according to the National Nurses Union, which represents 170,000 members. "There is no empirical evidence cited supporting this. The change…is being made solely on the basis of providing flexibility to the industry. Hospitals know their reimbursement, quality data, and public perceptions will be affected by infection rates, so they have a vested interest in eliminating this requirement or rendering the data meaningless …by a lack of uniformity and transparency in recording and reporting."
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