RUNNING HEAD: How to Reduce and Prevent Risk to Patient Safety in Healthcare 1 How to Reduce and Prevent Risk to Patient Safety in Healthcare Name: Date: Course Instructor
How to Reduce and Prevent Risk to Patient Safety in Healthcare 2 Defined, medical errors are adverse events that occur as the result of medical management versus the underlying patient disease process or injury (Latham, 2001). Medical errors represent one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. As such, attributing profound time, research, and resources to eradicate medical errors has been a priority for many experts and organizations in the last decade. Despite this, medical errors remain near epidemic proportions in the United States (Vagus, Sutcliffe, & Weick, 2010). The reasons for medical errors are multi- factorial, and some degree of error may be unavoidable in medicine. However, attention towards developing a culture of safety at health care organizations to combat the propensity for medical errors is priority. The widely publicized report by the Institute of Medicine, which detailed that some 44,000 to 98,000 patients die each year as the result of adverse medical events, led to major overhauls in patient safety in the United States (Latham, 2001). The World Health Organization (WHO) reported between 4% and 16% of all hospitalized patients suffer preventable medical errors, defining patient safety as a global priority (Stoyanova, et. al, 2012). According to Raycheva, and Dimova (2012), “medicine is considered to be a symbiotic combination of science and art of human knowledge, where it is quite possible for an adverse event to happen or be experienced by a patient despite the high qualification of physicians and other medical specialists involved in the diagnostic and therapeutic process, despite the rigorous observance of medical standards, organizational regulations, and rules.” Medical errors are prevalent because human beings are complex and medicine can be unpredictable. Notwithstanding this, health care organizations have a duty to protect patients. As such, preventing medical errors and patient safety are top priorities for reform efforts, hospital administrators, and governmental health agencies (Waite, 2005).
How to Reduce and Prevent Risk to Patient Safety in Healthcare 3 Zineldin, Zineldin, and Vasicheva (2014) indicate that medical errors occur as the result of failure to complete an intended action, can be acts of commission or omission, and include problems with operations, medications, products, procedures, and computer systems. Moreover, errors can occur anywhere in the health care continuum, including hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, nursing homes, pharmacies, patients’ homes, and physician practices. Historically, analyzing errors led to attributing the mistake to a single individual, with most root cause analyses ending with the identification of the individual bad act. Presently, the paradigm is shifting towards cause analysis, which searches for the breakdown in processes or systems that allowed an individual to make a mistake. Zineldin, et. al (2014) reports that most medical errors
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- Spring '17
- Economics, Physician, medical error, Medical malpractice, Waite