Peeling the wrap off the new calendar feels special this year. That's because in 2006, Nursing will highlight a theme that's close to my heart: improving patient safety.
Starting on page 36 of this issue, we're introducing a series developed in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). This organization has launched an ambitious campaign to prevent 100,000 avoidable deaths by June 2006 through improvements in six areas of patient care. More than 2,900 hospitals nationwide are committed to implementing the IHI's practical, achievable recommendations.
In this issue, you'll learn the IHI's recommendations for deploying a rapid response or "rescue" team to reverse the decline of a patient who's "going bad"- before his condition deteriorates to cardiac arrest. In subsequent issues, we'll expand on the other five elements of the IHI initiative: preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia, using medication reconciliation to prevent adverse medication events, giving evidence-based care for acute myocardial infarction, preventing central line infections, and preventing surgical site infections.
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You, our readers, are responsible for another bright spot on our editorial calendar. In the highest response to any survey we've published, almost 5,000 nurses answered questions on patient safety. When we bring you the results this spring, you'll learn how nursing practice influences patient care and how health care facilities promote a culture of safety or "look the other way." Thanks to all who contributed to these important data.
Finally, we're starting a photo guide series to help you provide safe care during an emergency, particularly first aid for injuries you might encounter in the field. Begin stepping up your early responder skills by turning to "First Aid for Burns" on page 41 of this issue.
Remember as you learn about safety measures throughout issues of Nursing2006 that communication and connectedness remain central to nursing care. The more you know about your patient and the more he knows about his condition, the safer he'll be. Tune in to his physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and teach him about his illness. This not only enhances safe care, but it's also the essence of great nursing.
Have a happy and safe New Year.
Cheryl L. Mee, RN, BC, CMSRN, MSN
Editor-in-Chief, Nursing 2005
Last accessed on December 6, 2005.
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