Corporate Healthcare and Social Responsibility Genesis Burkett was born on September 26, 2010 three weeks before the expected date. During his admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit he was administered sodium intravenously in a dose 60 times normal. As a result, blood tests that day indicated abnormally high levels; these were brought to the attention of the physician. The doctor ordered him checked but eight hours later, nothing had been done in response. At the age of six weeks, Genesis suffered a fatal heart attack (CBS News, 2011).
The parents of Genesis Burkett have filed a lawsuit against the hospital and staff claiming negligence because of avoidable human error. The executive vice president of CMO Advocate Healthcare, Dr. Lee Sacks, said, “Our organization takes full accountability for the tragedy leading to the death of the baby, and has been transparent and disclosed everything we know about it in a commitment to improve care” (CBS News, 2011, para. 1). The Burketts’ attorney, Patrick Salvi Sr. said, “A simple mistake could have been picked up several times along the way, by a pharmacist, then by a doctor, and they were not, and as a result, a little baby that was well on his way to recovery died. ” (CBS News, 2011, para. 1). According to a study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, sponsored by the U. S. Department of Health and human services and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, at least 1. 5 million individuals suffer from by medication errors each year (Institute of Medicine, 2006). Medication errors are the most common of type medical errors in healthcare facilities.
The report goes continues that the extra expense to treat injuries related to mistakes in drug administration in hospitals alone amounts to approximately $3. 5 billion yearly, not including figures for wages and productivity lost or additional costs of health care (Institute of Medicine, 2006). Medication Errors The discussion of medications includes over-the-counter drugs, drugs requiring a prescription, herbal supplements, vitamins, and minerals. Whereas the healthcare facility is not responsible for the administration of drugs acquired outside the organization, it is the responsibility of the roviders to communicate with the patient concerning drugs ingested at home in order to evaluate potential interactions with those administered in the healthcare setting. Possible classifications for medication errors are •inappropriate drug either prescribed by the physician, incorrectly transcribed by the clerk, incorrectly filled by the pharmacist, or incorrectly administered by the nurse. More than one factor may apply. •inappropriate dosage drug either prescribed by the physician, incorrectly transcribed by the clerk, incorrectly filled by the pharmacist, or incorrectly administered by the nurse. More than one factor may apply. wrong time of administration ordered by the physician, incorrectly transcribed by the clerk, overlooked by the pharmacist, or incorrectly administered by the nurse. More than one factor may apply. A single error can be a consequence of multiple causes. For instance, a physician may prescribe an inappropriate drug and that order may not be noticed by the pharmacist or the nurse or both. Contributing factors to a medication error at any step of the medication process include •inadequate information about the drug •inadequate information about the patient and his or her needs •violations of rules or policies errors in transcription •inaccurate identification of a drug •inadequate communication with other services in the facility •inaccurate checking of dose •inadequate monitoring •incorrect drug stocking •errors in preparation •lack of standardization procedures •memory slips Corporate Social Responsibility Kotler and Lee (2006) describe corporate social responsibility as the commitment an organization makes to improve societal welfare by using resources and business practices professionally. The idea that a healthcare corporation has social accountability expects it to respond through concern by the business for the community.
Public Perception of Corporate Social Responsibility Kotler (2009) has the opinion that potential clients of a healthcare facility conduct an information search of the business. In evaluating healthcare options, the patient and family assess perceived performance to make a choice of provider. The assessment includes perceptions of the patient and others; influencing perceptions are marketing activities, past care of patients, and how the organization presents itself. How willing an organization is to fulfill corporate social responsibility enters the public awareness of the facility (Kotler & Armstrong, 2009).
A survey conducted by Delta Research and Global Market Scan International (2006) found that a public’s positive perception of an organization’s corporate social responsibility increased the willingness to purchase the goods or services and to accept a higher price for them. Products produced by a business thought to be environmentally and socially responsible commanded 10% higher prices than from a business considered less so (Delta, 2006). Hospitals and other healthcare facilities equate patient trust with long-term profit.
Seeking advantage over competition and enhancing the image of the institution encourages emphasis on increasing the quality of service delivery and promoting a sense of social responsibility on the part of the business (Purwanto, 2010) Corporate Actions Improved Communication Between Patients and Providers Communication between patient and provider is the responsibility of both parties. Consumers promote decreased medication errors by asking health care providers how to take drugs correctly, what side effects may occur, and actions to take in the event they do. A printed record of the drugs eliminates memory slips.
In addition, patients have the responsibility to inform caregivers of any medications currently taken; it is necessary for staff to define drugs for the patient, including herbal supplements and other forms the patient and family may not consider mentioning. Patients allow better communication with the physician by supplying a written list or the physical containers of all medications currently taken. Also included on this written list are any known allergies to foods or drugs. Improved Resources for Drug Information The introduction and increased use of the Internet allows patients to research information about drugs online.
Unfortunately, much of the data presented is unreliable or even false and uneducated consumers are not aware of it. Pharmacies provide drug information in printed materials, although it is often too difficult for many consumers to understand. The information included with prescription drugs are typically written at the level of a college student. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can work with other agencies to create a standard for text and design of printed material to allow understanding more easily by the typical consumer.
Pharmaceutical companies also have a responsibility to publish information readily comprehended. Electronic Prescribing and other Information Technology Solutions Medical information technology continues to progress with new computerized systems for physicians to prescribe drugs and for pharmacists to dispense them. Paper-based prescribing is associated with high rates of errors due to the ability of transcriptionists and pharmacists to read illegible handwriting. Tools alert doctors to possible allergies, interactions, and other possible problems.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) promotes advancement in information technology systems used in the prescribing, administration, and monitoring of drugs and the relationship to the patient. Information databases, formulary capabilities, point-of-care systems, bar codes, coded patient armbands, and physician computerized order entries are methods computerized medication systems use to promote medication administration safety. The AHRQ reports health organizations can save $500,000 per year with the use of computerized medication systems (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2001).
Drug Naming and Labeling The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) received reports of medication errors. Similar drug names account for up to 25% of errors. It is reported that labeling and issues with packaging caused 33% of the errors, including 30% of the fatalities (Institute of Medicine, 2006). The use of standardized terms has the potential to address the confusion causing errors associated with packaging, labeling, and drug naming.
The cooperation of pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, the USP, the AHRQ, and the ISMP allows the development of a plan to address the problem. Conclusion Medical errors occurring in the United States are the eighth leading cause of death, more than the number of deaths resulting from breast cancer, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), or accidents with motor vehicles (California, 2001). Medication errors are costly to a healthcare organization through litigation costs and awards, waste and redundancy, and poor public perception.
Management has the responsibility and ability to reduce or eliminate the number of medication errors and decrease the severity when they do occur by using electronic processes, following procedure policy, set preventative deterrents in place, and create a plan of action in the event of occurrence. Patients, families, physicians, pharmacists, and nurses acting as partners in the creation and implementation of a medication regimen support the right of the patient’s right to safe and effective medical care. References Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2001, April 11). Press Release. Retrieved from http://www. hrq. gov. news/press/pr2001/adepr. htm California Health Care Foundation. (2001, July). California Health Care Foundation. Retrieved from http://www. chcf. org/publications/2001/07/addressing-medication-errors-in-hospitals-a-practical-toolkit CBS News. (2011). CBS News. Retrieved from http://www. cbsnews. com/stories/2011/04/22/earlyshow/health/main20056452. sht mlhttp://feeds. cbsnews. com/~r/CBSNewsHealth/~3/x77p7eCx6yk/main20056452 .shtmlhttp://feeds. cbsnews. com/~r/CBSNewsHealth/~3/_eDYLYharIU/main20056 452. shtml Delta Research and Global Market Scan International. (2006). Marketing, 5(8), 11-12.
Institute of Medicine. (2006). Office of News and Public Information. Retrieved from http://www8. nationalacademies. org/onpinews/newsitem. aspx? RecordID=11623 Kotler, P. and Armstrong, G. (2009). Principles of Marketing (13th ed. ). New Jersey: Person Education. Kotler, P and Lee, N. (2005). Corporate Social Responsibility. New York: John Wiley. Purwanto, Y. (2010). The Effect of Service Delivery Performance and Corporate Social Responsibility on Institutional Image and Competitive Advantage and Its Implication on Customer Trust. Issues in Social & Environmental Accounting, 14(2), 168-185.