Power Distance, Cultural Communication and Medication/Medical Errors: The advoidance of an ethical dilemma

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 3:25 PM

Luanne Ruth Linnard-Palmer, BSN MSN EdD Post Doctorate
School of Health and Natural Sciences, Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to analyze the impact of power distance as a concept that highly influences important clinical information exchange.

Learning Objective 2: The learning will be able to apply principles of effective cultural communication to prevent possible medication and medical errors in the clinical setting.

Medication errors continue to occur at an alarming rate. Based on the principles of a call for change prompted by the publication, "To Err is Human" by the IOM, a research study was conducted using triangulation to discover more effective cross cultural communication patterns to prevent medication and medical errors in clinical practice. Using the concept of Power Distance, both qualitative and quantatative research methods were used to discover the impact of Power Distance on the development of medication and medical errors when cultural communication patterns were not effective and the process lead to poor clinical outcomes. Poor communication, lack of adherence, scheduling misconceptions and acts of commission/acts of omission all lead to potentially severe errors. Not being prepared to assess the impact of potential errors in caring for diverse families is seen as an ethical dilemma. The research findings illuminate the severity of errors based on poor communication, perspectives of power distance and the need for further professional development and education. This session will provide an overview of the two research studies and the findings that offer suggestions for both clinical practice as well as the development of curricula for schools of nursing.