National Patient safety Essay Paper

National Patient safety
National Patient safety

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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 of patient safety, 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.

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.

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Predictive modeling and concentration of the risk of suicide: implications for preventive interventions in veterans patient safety

         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 patient safety

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 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.


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 users.  


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.

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