Current Trends in Nursing Practice: Electronic Prescriptions for Opioids – Week 4 Solution

This article discusses Electronic Prescriptions for Opioids as a Current Trend in Nursing Practice.

Instructions

Topic 2 DQ 1     

Explain how interprofessional collaboration will help reduce errors, provide higher-quality care, and increase safety. Provide an example of a current or emerging trend that will require more, or change the nature of, interprofessional collaboration.    

Topic 2 DQ 2     

Describe one innovative health care delivery model that incorporates an interdisciplinary care delivery team. Explain how this model is advantageous to patient outcomes

Examine changes introduced to reform or restructure the U.S. health care delivery system. In a 1,000-1,250 word paper, discuss action taken for reform and restructuring and the role of the nurse within this changing environment.

Include the following:

  1. Outline a current or emerging health care law or federal regulation introduced to reform or restructure some aspect of the health care delivery system. Describe the effect of this on nursing practice and the nurse\\\\\\\’s role and responsibility.
  2. Discuss how quality measures and to pay for performance affect patient outcomes. Explain how these affect nursing practice and describe the expectations and responsibilities of the nursing role in these situations.
  3. Discuss professional nursing leadership and management roles that have arisen and how they are important in responding to emerging trends and in the promotion of patient safety and quality care in diverse health care settings.
  4. Research emerging trends. Predict two ways in which the practice of nursing and nursing roles will grow or transform within the next five years to respond to upcoming trends or predicted issues in health care.

You are required to cite a minimum of three sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and relevant to nursing practice.  

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required. 

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion. 

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Solution

Current Trends in Nursing Practice: Electronic Prescriptions for Opioids

Introduction

Electronic prescription for opioids and dispensing of controlled substances is a state mandate adopted by different states under the Public Health Law. For instance, Arizona has an HB 2075 signed by Governor Ducey in 2019 as an amendment to the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act.

It requires an electronic prescription for any controlled substance that is an opioid. Electronic Prescription and dispensing of controlled substances was adopted in New York on March 27, 2013, as an amendment of the Title 10 NYCRR Part 80 Rules and Regulations on Controlled Substances. The mandate was enforced in 2016 (Abouk & Powell, 2021).

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Electronic prescription for opioids reduces opioid prescription, addiction, diversion, abuse, death, and fraudulent written prescriptions. Handwritten prescriptions can be misread, copied, reused, or forged, and electronic prescription eliminates erotic and fraudulent prescriptions. Healthcare professionals are optimistic that electronic prescription would reduce the severity of the growing opioid epidemic.

A study conducted in New York State concerning electronic prescription for opioids found a 53% decrease in opioid prescriptions (Danovich et al., 2019). With the rising opioid crisis in the United States, states have developed numerous policies targeting opioid misuse. The electronic prescription for controlled substances is an emerging state mandate that can help reduce opioid overdoses, increase patient safety, enhance the quality of care, and reduce opportunities for fraud.

Current or Emerging Health Care Law or Federal Regulation and Effect on Nursing Practice, Role, and Responsibility

Electronic prescription for controlled substance mandates requires the use of computer applications to dispense prescriptions and controlled substance. The computer applications must adhere to federal security requirements and be registered with the Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. The law aims to curb medical errors, fraudulent activities and reduce opioid overdose (Abouk & Powell, 2021). Electronic prescriptions are secure, efficient, and easy to regulate hence enhancing quality of care and patient outcomes.

This law affects nursing practice since nurses are now required to adapt to new technological requirements associated with the electronic system. Most physicians and other healthcare providers are introducing the Electronic Prescriptions for Opioid (Mohsin-Shaikh et al., 2019).

Physicians and nurses were used to the independent prescribing, and they would prescribe medications without limitation, controlled drugs, durable medical goods, adjunct health services, devices, and other supplies. Independent prescribing does not require interprofessional collaboration.

Electronic prescribing, however, would require some form of communication between the nurses and the physician. The law regulates the scope of practice for physicians and nurses and requires state regulation uniformity. There is a need for nursing education to inform and provide direction on electronic prescribing.

Nurses would also have access to additional patient data, raising more ethical concerns. Nurses are required to protect patient data by ensuring privacy and confidentiality (Degnan, 2019). This law involves technological development, and it enhances patient safety, decreases medical errors, reduces drug costs, increases access to medical records, and improves service flow.

Quality Measures, Pay for Performance, Patient Outcomes, and Effect on Nursing Practice

Adoption of quality measures and pay for performance improves patient outcomes. Quality measures quantify healthcare processes by checking care safety, effectiveness, timeliness, quality, and fairness. They measure the impact of health care and medical interventions on a patient’s health status (Adirim et al., 2017). For instance, a quality measure can investigate the number of patients who died from surgical complications to determine the efficacy of surgical procedures and surgeons.

Quality measures ensure that systems and personnel provide high-quality health care. They also assess patient perceptions and organizations’ structure. To pay for performance is a form of compensation to an individual or the organization.

It is a performance appraisal that encourages employees to offer the highest quality of care. Employees receive a traditional salary, but they are compensated for high performance beyond job expectations. Employees are more motivated to perform, enhancing patient outcomes.

Effective quality measures can drive an organization towards evidence-based practice. They help organizations identify areas of improvement, make necessary changes, and maximize the systems’ and facilities’ effectiveness to provide quality care to their patient populations. Nurses are involved in quality evaluation, and it is also a nursing responsibility to quantify nursing practice (Roberts, 2017).

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Nurses aim at achieving quality outcomes and need to participate in quality measurement and performance appraisal. Nurses need to self-assess their skills, achievements, and development or lack thereof. Nurses would be required to engage more in interprofessional communication to improve patient safety and patient outcomes.

They are also involved in data collection and analysis, vital in evaluating health care processes and systems for quality improvement. Generally, the nursing role would be pivotal in ensuring quality care and patient safety.

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Electronic Prescriptions for Opioids
Electronic Prescriptions for Opioids

Professional Nursing Leadership and Management Roles

Nursing leaders and managers are currently required to focus and engage in quality assurance practices, which require working closely with individual professionals as full-time partners and in a context of mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration (Nelson‐Brantley & Ford, 2017). Nurse leaders and managers are also required to appreciate personal expertise and the ability to deliver. 

This leadership approach would improve patient outcomes, reduce medical errors, and increase nurse retention. Nurse leaders are expected to facilitate interprofessional collaborations associated with reduced workplace bullying and disruptive behavior that impacts patient experience and overall performance.

The benefits of leadership partnership roles with other employees also include better patient outcomes, cost-effectiveness, and reduced lengths of hospital stay. Nurse leaders and managers should cultivate a culture of cohesiveness and coordination from all directions and levels. Everyone must engage colleagues and work together towards a common goal.

Collaborative leadership and management eliminate hierarchical silos, and everyone becomes accountable for improving quality of care, reducing medical errors, and decreasing avoidable adverse medical events.  

New leadership styles are emerging where nurse leaders and managers are expected to foster leadership in others and encourage staff to develop strong leadership skills and competencies to contribute to quality care and patient safety.

They should engage in thoughtful strategies and make informed decisions based on evidence, education, experience, and collective action. Nurse Managers are also policymakers, and they need policies that facilitate workplace diversity in terms of expertise, race, culture, and nationality. Diverse teams have proven to create better patient outcomes due to a wide range of skills, experience, and background.

More diversified opinions also reduce medical errors, promote wellness, and increase the quality of care. Collaborative leadership encourages critical thinking and nurses’ awareness of the patient, family, and the community (Nelson‐Brantley & Ford, 2017). It also encourages creativity and knowledge of the overall health care delivery system, which is the foundation for quality and safety enhancement.

Predict Change in Nursing Roles and Nursing Practice

Emerging issues in healthcare include growing numbers of older adults, the uninsured, new technologies, and new and emerging infectious diseases. Nursing and nursing roles will change to respond to these issues. The nursing profession will need to recruit more nurses and facilitate continuing education that equips nurses with additional knowledge and skills to address emerging health care issues.

Nurses are also expected to take more leadership roles as they contribute tremendously to health care information and decision-making (Al-Dossary, 2017). In the next decade, the number of people over 75 years in the US will increase from 17 million to 19 million. As this number increases, health care needs also increase (Nicol, 2017).

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There is a need to recruit more nurses to ensure the current workforce is not overwhelmed. More nurses will also be required in nursing homes. There is a need for nursing education concerning care for older adults and the health problems they present. Emerging technologies are also affecting nursing practice and nursing roles and responsibilities.

Nurses need to engage in training and education to acquire skills and knowledge to operate new tools and equipment and work with new treatment methods and drugs. Education is fundamental for nurses to remain relevant. New and emerging infectious diseases, for instance, the Coronavirus disease, are affecting the healthcare system.

Nurses are forced to adapt and learn how to handle new illnesses. On-the-job training and continuing nursing education will help them respond to these emerging issues in health care.     

References

Abouk, R., & Powell, D. (2021). Can Electronic Prescribing Mandates Reduce Opioid-Related Overdoses?. Economics & Human Biology, 101000. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2021.101000

Adirim, T., Meade, K., & Mistry, K. (2017). A new era in quality measurement: the development and application of quality measures. Pediatrics, 139(1). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-3442

Al-Dossary, R. N. (2017). Leadership in nursing. Contemporary Leadership Challenges, 251. https://doi.org/10.5772/65308

Danovich, D., Greenstein, J., Chacko, J., Hahn, B., Ardolic, B., Ilyaguyev, B., & Berwald, N. (2019). Effect of New York state electronic prescribing mandate on opioid prescribing patterns. The Journal of emergency medicine, 57(2), 156-161. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jemermed.2019.03.052

Degnan, D. (2019). Pros and cons of electronic prescribing. Pharmacy Today, 25(4), 32.

Mohsin-Shaikh, S., Furniss, D., Blandford, A., McLeod, M., Ma, T., Beykloo, M. Y., & Franklin, B. D. (2019). The impact of electronic prescribing systems on healthcare professionals’ working practices in the hospital setting: a systematic review and narrative synthesis. BMC health services research, 19(1), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-4554-7

Nelson‐Brantley, H. V., & Ford, D. J. (2017). Leading change: a concept analysis. Journal of advanced nursing, 73(4), 834-846. https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.13223

Nicol, E. (2017). The aging population in healthcare: a challenge to, and in, the workforce. Clinical Medicine, 17(4), 291. https://doi.org/10.7861/clinmedicine.17-4-291

Roberts, D. (2017). Why Quality Measures Matter for Nurses. Battelle.

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