Prevent Errors in Your Child`s Care

PreventErrors in Your Child’s Care

Collegeof Nursing



PreventErrors in Your Child’s Care

The2016 publication of The Joint Commission titled “Prevent Errors inYour Child’s Care” is the brochure that I have chosen to review.Information on the brochure intends to profit parents and children,who are patients in this context. Medical errors refer to unintendedacts that may tragically harm the patient or even cause death.Additionally, this information is also beneficial to the medicalpractitioners who play a critical towards ensuring adequate patienteducation so as to minimize medical errors.


Thebrochure focuses on some of the means through which errors can beprevented in situations where a child is a patient. One of the issuesaddressed focuses on the preparations required before seeking medicalattention for your child. Some of the important aspects includeknowing the medical history of the child, all medicines taken by thechild and any other questions with regards to the child’s health.Information should be freely shared with the medical practitioners sothat the child can be given the appropriate medical care. Thequestions may focus on the treatments and tests that will beconducted on the child. The parent/guardian should also be aware ofthe particular importance of the treatment. This could be achievedthrough an interactive session with the doctor. As such, the doctoris also able to understand the specific needs of the guardian.

Inthe case of a language barrier, the services of a translator may beincorporated. Also included in the brochure are the mechanismsthrough which a child can be prevented from acquiring an infectionwhile undergoing treatment. The guardians should remind caregiversalways to wash their hands or wear gloves before examining the child. Communication between the patients and healthcare providers is acritical element for the effective treatment approach to be realized.Communication is encouraged through all the procedures involved suchas taking medicine safely, undergoing laboratory tests and safesurgical operations. Such medical procedures play a critical in thepatients’ health hence the need for effective communication betweenthe doctor and patient (Prevent Error’s in Your Child’s Care,2016).


Thepositive aspect of the brochure regards its in-depth analysis of howerrors can be prevented when taking care of the child’s health. Ofmost importance is the clear elaboration of details through the useof sub-topics. Under each topic, the sentences are short and conciseoffering a clear understanding of both the patients and theiradvocates. The subjects have also been outlined in a stepwiseapproach hence allowing for a smooth flow of the subject. It beginswith the necessary preparations that have to be undertaken before thechild is taken to the hospital. This is then followed by the types ofquestions to ask the doctor and what to be done in case one doesn’tunderstand what the doctor is saying. Clear guidelines are alsooffered with reference on how to prevent the child from contractingan infection while at the treatment facility. Additionally, thebrochure also focuses on the safety precautions to ensure safepractices for the child while taking medicine, the necessarypreparations before the child undergoes a laboratory test or surgicaloperation (Prevent Error’s in Your Child’s Care, 2016.

Despitethe information provided in the brochure, there are some drawbacksconcerning the arrangement of the topics. At the bottom of thebrochure lies the goal of the Speak up program. From my perspective,the goal should have been placed at the top of the brochure so thatreaders can have a sneak peak of what’s contained within thebrochure. Also, the symptoms could have been placed at the verybeginning of the brochure instead of being placed at the bottom.

Thistopic was of most interest to me given that majority of the errorsthat do occur in hospitals can be prevented. Patient safety isregarded as one of the critical issues in healthcare especially themost at risk population such as children. Recent studies haveconcluded an increase in the medical errors targeting pediatrics.There is thus need to be concerned about the provision of a safehealthcare for patients and their families (Walsh et al., 2005).

Theinformation provided in the brochure is beneficial in my nursingpractice and patient education. Nurses have a critical role inpreventing errors among patients by ensuring orders from thephysicians are double checked in addition to ensuring correct drugsare dispensed from the pharmacy. There is also a need for nurses tofamiliarize with the probable errors for Pyxis and other automateddevices (Walsh et al., 2005).

Thisis due to the impact that patient education contributes towards thedrastic reduction of medical errors. There is a need for medicalpractitioners to participate effectively in patient education andalso collaborate effectively with other health providers. This isbeneficial as it will contribute towards a shared decision-makingprocess and improved understanding in patient management.Additionally, patients will be encouraged and motivated to adoptself-management of their condition.

Alot of research has been conducted focusing on the need to preventmedical errors in children. According to Miller et al. (2007), notmuch is known about the medication errors even though we recognizethat the greatest population at risk are children. There is also noclear outline with regards to the reduction strategies aimed ateliminating medication errors more so among children. Improvedcommunication among medical practitioners is one of the major meansthrough which medical errors can be prevented among the pediatricpopulation (Fortescue et al., 2003).

Thisarticle mainly targets parents as they offer the final protectivecover for children against medical errors. There is still someuncertainty with regards to the impact that parents have towardspreventing medical errors that occur at the inpatient department.Parents ensure the legitimacy of drugs prescribed and also alwaysreminding the personnel to ensure their maintenance of clean handswhile handling the child. They should also be inquisitive about thenames of different medications prescribed to their children and theirpotential side effects. This information is also beneficial tophysicians, pharmacists and nurses so as to ensure a collaborativeapproach towards the prevention of such errors.


Medicationerrors contribute towards a significant proportion of the number ofdeaths and injury. Errors may emanate from medicines, surgery,medical equipment, diagnosis or even laboratory reports. However,communication problems between patients and doctors also contributetowards the occurrence of the errors. Parents should be activelyinvolved in the healthcare process of their children. This is one ofthe critical ways of preventing medical errors. The doctors should bemade aware of all the medications taken by the child. In situationsrequiring hospital stays, parents should try to choose a facilitywhere many children are having the same procedure as that required bytheir child. All issues should be clarified between all the concernedparties before the child undergoes any surgical operations. Parentsshould have the freedom to raise questions and concerns regarding thehealth care of their child. Parents should also be inquisitive andyearn to know more from the people in charge of their child’shealth.


Fortescue,E. B., Kaushal, R., Landrigan, C. P., McKenna, K. J., Clapp, M. D.,Federico, F., … &amp Bates, D. W. (2003). Prioritizing strategiesfor preventing medication errors and adverse drug events in pediatricinpatients. Pediatrics,111(4),722-729.

Miller,M. R., Robinson, K. A., Lubomski, L. H., Rinke, M. L., &ampPronovost, P. J. (2007). Medication errors in paediatric care: asystematic review of epidemiology and an evaluation of evidencesupporting reduction strategy recommendations. Qualityand Safety in Health Care,16(2),116-126.

PreventError’s in Your Child’s Care. 2016. N.P. The Joint Commission

Walsh,K. E., Kaushal, R., &amp Chessare, J. B. (2005). How to avoidpaediatric medication errors: a user’s guide to the literature.Archivesof disease in childhood,90(7),698-702.