Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue Essay

Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue Essay

Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue Essay

The healthcare system currently faces major challenges that health providers have to be prepared to face and identify practical solutions. Healthcare is continually evolving in terms of science, technology, and delivery of patient care, and thus challenges are becoming more complex. The purpose of this paper is to discuss a current healthcare issue, explore potential solutions, propose a solution and explain the possible ethical implications of the solution.

Elements of the problem/issue

The identified health care problem for this assignment is medication errors. The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP) defines a medication error as any avoidable event that may contribute to or result in inappropriate drug use or patient harm when the drug is in the control of a healthcare provider, patient, or healthcare consumer (Zhou et al., 2018). Medication errors transpire throughout the medication-use system. They occur when prescribing medication, entering patient data into a computer system, during drug preparation or dispensation, or when the drug is administered to or taken by a patient. The two most common medication errors are incorrect patient and incorrect medication (error of commission).


The common causes of medication errors include expired medications; administration of drugs with known contraindication and allergen; incorrect drug duration, preparation, strength, rate, timing, dose, dosage form, and patient action. Furthermore, distortions are another significant cause of medication errors (Tariq et al., 2021). Most distortions result from poor prescription writing, the use of abbreviations, misunderstanding symbols, and improper translation. Besides, illegible writing is a major cause of medication errors caused by clinicians writing prescriptions in a hurry and scribbling down illegible prescriptions. Consequently, the dispensing pharmacist cannot read and understand the order and thus makes their best guess, resulting in major medication errors (Tariq et al., 2021). Additionally, some medication errors are related to the healthcare providers, including forgetfulness, negligence, hurrying, and lack of motivation.


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Medication errors are widespread and occur in all patient care settings globally. They are a common public health issue and account for billions of dollars countrywide while imposing significant morbidity and mortality. The issue is important since it inflicts physical and psychological pain on patients from medication errors such as allergic reactions and adverse effects from food or drug interactions (Rasool et al., 2020). This results in poor health outcomes, prolonged patient stay, and high morbidity and mortality rates. About 7,000 to 9,000 mortalities occur annually in the United States due to medication errors. In addition, hundreds of thousands of patients experience adverse reactions and complications from medication errors but fail to report them (Rasool et al., 2020). Besides, medication errors reduce patient satisfaction and increase distrust in the healthcare professional and the system. Prolonged patient stays are associated with increased healthcare costs.

In my professional setting, pediatric and adult patients in inpatient and outpatient settings are affected by medication errors. However, children below five years and elderly patients above 65 years are the highest affected by medication errors. In addition, patients with multiple chronic conditions are highly affected due to polypharmacy, which often causes drug-to-drug interactions (Rasool et al., 2020). The issue is attributed to system failures such as clinicians failing to obtain patients’ allergy history, inaccurate order transcription, inadequate drug knowledge dissemination, incomplete checking of drug orders, poor professional communication, and inaccurate/unavailability of patient information in their health records.

Considering Options

Various options can be considered in the effort to curb medication errors. They include giving the right drug to the right patient, which can be facilitated by Barcode technology. Barcodes enable healthcare providers to utilize barcode scanning equipment to validate that the right drug and dose is administered to the right patient through the right route of administration and at the right time. The barcode system is aimed at reducing medication errors occurring in healthcare settings. A second option is labeling over-the-counter and prescription drugs. The drug label should indicate active and inactive ingredients, drug uses, dosage, directions, warnings, and other relevant information, including drug storage.


Adopting a reporting system is another option to consider in reducing medication errors. Healthcare organizations should adopt a reporting system for medication errors and initiate changes to prevent similar errors from recurring (Tariq et al., 2021). Health providers should be trained on reporting medication errors and informed that even a near-miss event should be reported. Health providers should be encouraged to report medication errors without consequences since it facilitates learning and improves patient safety. Furthermore, medication errors can be prevented or reduced by creating a safety culture in healthcare organizations. A safety culture can focus on improving patient safety by reducing any preventable errors (Tariq et al., 2021). Therefore, the healthcare team should be encouraged to work collaboratively, and when a medical error occurs, the goal should be to prevent it from recurring instead of blaming the individual.


The selected solution for our healthcare setting is adopting the Barcode medication administration (BCMA) technology. BCMA uses barcode labeling of patients, medications, and patients records to electronically link up the right drug and dose to the right patient at the right time (Naidu & Alicia, 2019). The solution will involve nurses scanning the medication barcode to ensure it is the right medication. They will also scan the patient’s armband barcode to ensure the administration of the right drug to the right patient.

Ignoring the issue of medication errors may result in poor patient outcomes due to compromised patient safety. Poor health outcomes will contribute to prolonged patient stays and increased readmissions rates, significantly increasing healthcare costs for both patients and healthcare organizations (Naidu & Alicia, 2019). In addition, poor health outcomes contribute to reduced patient satisfaction, negatively affecting the organization’s image. Furthermore, failing to address the issue will contribute to high morbidity and mortality rates.

Improving patient safety is a key advantage of BCMA since it ensures that the right medication is given to the right patient at the right time and in the right dose. By increasing patient safety, BCMA helps to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with medication errors. In addition, it helps to reduce healthcare costs due to reduced adverse effects and hospitalization stay (Naidu & Alicia, 2019). Nevertheless, BCMA has several disadvantages, including adding nurses’ workload from barcode scanning and interfering with nurses’ workflow. Besides, BCMA may affect an organization financially since it requires robust barcode machines (Baiden, 2018). Besides, problematic computer interfaces can delay workflow, and providers can evade key steps and, as a result, ignore error safeguards.

Ethical Implications

Implementing the BCMA technology will uphold the ethical principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence. Beneficence is a provider’s moral duty to promote good. Thus, adopting the BCMA technology will promote beneficence by reducing medical errors and improving patient outcomes (Baiden, 2018). Nonmaleficence is the provider’s moral duty to prevent harm to the patient. BCMA seeks to lower medication errors that cause high morbidity and mortality rates and will thus promote nonmaleficence. However, BCMA is vulnerable to viruses and malware, and thus, health organizations should prioritize the privacy and confidentiality of patients’ health information.


The implementation of BCMA will involve automatic documentation of drug administration by nurses through barcode scanning. The technology will register medication orders electronically from the clinician’s order entry. This will get rid of transcription errors that occur in the traditional process of nurses obtaining information about medications from the transcriptions of the clinicians’ medication orders (Baiden, 2018). When using the BCMA, the patient’s electronic record will display medication orders after pharmacists’ approval. Besides, the system also alerts nurses on any overdue drugs for any patients. Nonetheless, the implementation process may face challenges such as unstable wireless connections, which will hinder the efficient running of the system (Baiden, 2018). Besides, nurses may encounter challenges in the workflow when a medication is not labeled or not in the system or when a patient’s armband is illegible.


Medication errors are a common healthcare issue affecting healthcare organizations globally. They are caused by both human and system factors. Medication errors are associated with poor health outcomes, increased healthcare costs, reduced patient satisfaction, and high morbidity and mortality rates. The issue can be addressed through BCMA technology, labeling over-the-counter and prescription drugs, adopting a reporting system, and creating a safety culture. BCMA technology can reduce medication errors by ensuring the right drug is given to the right patient. Besides, it can promote principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence.


Baiden, D. (2018). Factors affecting the impact of barcode medication administration technology in reducing medication administration errors by nurses. Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics13(1).

Naidu, M., & Alicia, Y. L. Y. (2019). Impact of barcode medication administration and electronic medication administration record system in clinical practice for an effective medication administration process. Health11(05), 511.

Rasool, M. F., Rehman, A. U., Imran, I., Abbas, S., Shah, S., Abbas, G., … & Hayat, K. (2020). Risk factors associated with medication errors among patients suffering from chronic disorders. Frontiers in public health8, 531038.

Tariq, R. A., Vashisht, R., Sinha, A., & Scherbak, Y. (2021). Medication Dispensing Errors And Prevention. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.

Zhou, S., Kang, H., Yao, B., & Gong, Y. (2018). Analyzing Medication Error Reports in Clinical Settings: An Automated Pipeline Approach. AMIA … Annual Symposium proceedings. AMIA Symposium2018, 1611–1620.


Write a 4-6 page analysis of a current problem or issue in health care, including a proposed solution and possible ethical implications.

In your health care career, you will be confronted with many problems that demand a solution. By using research skills, you can learn what others are doing and saying about similar problems. Then, you can analyze the problem and the people and systems it affects. You can also examine potential solutions and their ramifications. This assessment allows you to practice this approach with a real-world problem.

Note: The requirements outlined below correspond to the grading criteria in the scoring guide. At a minimum, be sure to address each point. In addition, you are encouraged to review the performance-level descriptions for each criterion to see how your work will be assessed.

Describe the health care problem or issue you selected for use in Assessment 2 (from the Assessment Topic Areas media piece) and provide details about it.
Explore your chosen topic. For this, you should use the first four steps of the Socratic Problem-Solving Approach to aid your critical thinking. This approach was introduced in Assessment 2.
Identify possible causes for the problem or issue.
Use scholarly information to describe and explain the health care problem or issue and identify possible causes for it.
Identify at least three scholarly or academic peer-reviewed journal articles about the topic.
You may find the How Do I Find Peer-Reviewed Articles? library guide helpful in locating appropriate references.
You may use articles you found while working on Assessment 2 or you may search the Capella library for other articles.
You may find the applicable Undergraduate Library Research Guide helpful in your search.
Review the Think Critically About Source Quality to help you complete the following:
Assess the credibility of the information sources.
Assess the relevance of the information sources.
Analyze the health care problem or issue.
Describe the setting or context for the problem or issue.
Describe why the problem or issue is important to you.
Identify groups of people affected by the problem or issue.
Provide examples that support your analysis of the problem or issue.
Discuss potential solutions for the health care problem or issue.
Describe what would be required to implement a solution.
Describe potential consequences of ignoring the problem or issue.
Provide the pros and cons for one of the solutions you are proposing.
Explain the ethical principles (Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, Autonomy, and Justice) if potential solution was implemented.
Describe what would be necessary to implement the proposed solution.
Explain the ethical principles that need to be considered (Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, Autonomy, and Justice) if the potential solution was implemented.
Provide examples from the literature to support the points you are making.
Example Assessment: You may use the following to give you an idea of what a Proficient or higher rating on the scoring guide would look like:

Assessment 3 Example [PDF].
Additional Requirements
Your assessment should also meet the following requirements:

Length: 4–6 typed, double-spaced pages, not including the title page and reference page.
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
APA tutorial: Use the APA Style Paper Tutorial [DOCX] for guidance.
Written communication: Write clearly and logically, with correct use of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.
Using outside sources: Integrate information from outside sources into academic writing by appropriately quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing, following APA style.
References: Integrate information from outside sources to include at least three scholarly or academic peer-reviewed journal articles and three in-text citations within the paper.
APA format: Follow current APA guidelines for in-text citations of outside sources in the body of your paper and also on the reference page.
Organize your paper using the following structure and headings:

Title page. A separate page.
Introduction. A brief one-paragraph statement about the purpose of the paper.
Elements of the problem/issue. Identify the elements of the problem or issue or question.
Analysis. Analyze, define, and frame the problem or issue.
Considering options. Consider solutions, responses, or answers.
Solution. Choose a solution, response, or answer.
Ethical implications. Ethical implications of implementing the solution.
Implementation. Implementation of the potential solution.
Conclusion. One paragraph.
Competencies Measured:
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and scoring guide criteria:

Competency 1: Apply information literacy and library research skills to obtain scholarly information in the field of health care.
Use scholarly information to describe and explain a health care problem or issue and identify possible causes for it.
Competency 2: Apply scholarly information through critical thinking to solve problems in the field of health care.
Analyze a health care problem or issue by describing the context, explaining why it is important and identifying populations affected by it.
Discuss potential solutions for a health care problem or issue and describe what would be required to implement a solution.
Competency 3: Apply ethical principles and academic standards to the study of health care.
Explain the ethical principles (Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, Autonomy, and Justice) if potential solution was implemented
Competency 4: Write for a specific audience, in appropriate tone and style, in accordance with Capella’s writing standards.
Write clearly and logically, with correct use of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.
Write following APA style for in-text citations, quotes, and references.

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