And yet that is exactly what is happening in NHS hospital wards today, where nurses are sporting bright red tabards printed on the front with the bold words: ‘Do not disturb, drug round in progress.’
After pilot schemes in Kent, these deeply offensive items are to be worn by nurses in hospitals across the country. The rationale, according to the hospital trusts, is that patients asking nurses for help will distract them while they are giving out medicines.
Areas to think about:
- Will this improve the quality of patient care?
- Will this improve the perception of the quality of patient care?
- In a health care system where successfully meeting outcome measures will increasingly determine financial budgets, how should outcomes be measured if the quality of care, and its perception by patients, vary differentially? Which is more important?