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B. Improving Patient Safety in Hospitals

Narrator: This is Science Today. One of the goals of the University of California, San Francisco 's School of Nursing is to improve patient safety in hospitals. Mary Blegen, director of the school's Center for Patient Safety, says safety issues in hospitals includes medication and administration errors.

Blegen: To promote patient safety then, we want to study the factors around the nurse that actually facilitate a safe and accurate medication administration. One of the things that we found in research is that the nurse is distracted and interrupted frequently when they're trying to give their medications to the patients and so we would want to do research within the center here to try and figure out how you can minimize those distractions and interruptions and thereby improve the safety of patients.

Narrator: The center is combining expertise in research with education and student training to meet these goals.

Blegen: Partly it's just reminding people how important this is, so to make it visible. But also, to develop better research methods and teach students differently so that they're ready to perform in a safe climate in a hospital.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.