Safety First Blog

Happy National Nurses Month!

Posted by Laura Paxton on May 24, 2023 8:42:11 AM
Laura Paxton
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How have you thanked a nurse recently? As the American Nurses Association (ANA) said, “The impact of nurses on healthcare is unparalleled, directly affecting the health and well-being of our society. Nurses are everywhere we live, work, play, learn, and worship, and in every healthcare setting, providing care to millions of people.”

Nurses have a tremendous impact on the health and welfare of people everywhere, which is why May is designated National Nurses Month. 

At Rpharmy, we witness the effort and the sacrifice nurses put into their work for the good of others. That is why we aim to protect them through our solutions. In fact, we created a mobile version of Rhazdrugs specifically for nurses after hearing from a client that a nurse had to search Google for the safety information she needed before administering a hazardous drug to a pediatric patient. In our eyes, that wasn’t acceptable, so we sought to make it easier to access the critical safety information necessary to protect nurses from dangerous exposure to hazardous drugs. 

Within our clients, we see that users like nurses are twice as likely to access and follow safety information if it is available at the point of care. The fewer clicks necessary to reach the information, the better. Time is always of the essence when nurses care for patients, so it is vital that drug handling, administration, and disposal information is easy to find and easy to understand through visuals or simple instructions. Nurses are better protected by making complex safety instructions easy to access and follow, and patient outcomes can improve. 

Who is now primarily responsible for protecting healthcare workers, including nurses, from hazardous drug exposure? 

While safety policies and procedures are nothing new to a healthcare system, USP <800> has now made the pharmacy responsible for creating, documenting, communicating, and ensuring SOPs are followed. The pharmacy now must ensure USP <800> compliance, which means that the pharmacy is also responsible for protecting all health system employees, including nurses, from exposure to hazardous drugs. This is a substantial responsibility on top of the pharmacy’s already demanding role within a healthcare system. 

How can Rpharmy help the pharmacy protect nurses? 

The Rhazdrugs hazardous drug safety information solution can be customized to accommodate an organization’s workflow and how they prefer to communicate safety information - whether through visuals like icons or text. Rhazdrugs breaks out the safety information needed for administration, preparation, storage, handling transport, patient care activities, and more for each drug within a hospital's formulary and hazardous drug list.

In most of our clients, Rhazdrugs is set up with the safety information needed most by nurses, like administration, patient care activities, disposal, etc. Because nurses handle and administer these hazardous drugs at the point of care, healthcare systems and pharmacies organize Rhazdrugs to make this critical information easy to access and therefore offer a high level of protection. 

Although the nurse-to-patient ratio differs at facilities based on the type of care they offer, the Institute of Medicine suggests the ideal ratio would be one nurse to every four patients. A hospital with 100 beds could need 250 nurses. The need for nurses is only increasing. The National Healthcare Workforce Commission predicts that by 2025 (only 18 months away), the industry will need an additional 1.9 million nurses. As the need continues to rise exponentially, healthcare systems and the industry as a whole must show care by protecting these invaluable caretakers from workplace dangers such as hazardous drug exposure. 

The Rpharmy team wishes all nurses a Happy National Nurse Month! We are grateful for the care you extend to all of us at some point in our lives. ♥️

More information on protecting healthcare workers and USP <800> is available on the Rpharmy Safety First Blog. 

Topics: Rhazdrugs, Policy, USP <800>, Formweb

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