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Reducing Medical Errors: Impact on Patients, Health Care Providers and Healthy Quality in USA - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Instructor: Date: Reducing Medical Errors: Impact on Patients, Health Care Providers, and Health Quality in USA Is health care as safe as it should be? When many Americans are harmed as a result of medical errors, the answer seems to be no. Safety is a global concept that includes efficiency, security of care, reactivity of caregivers, and satisfaction of patients and relatives…
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Reducing Medical Errors: Impact on Patients, Health Care Providers and Healthy Quality in USA
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"Reducing Medical Errors: Impact on Patients, Health Care Providers and Healthy Quality in USA"

Download file to see previous pages Medical errors occur due to convergence of multiple contributing factors, not just due to an individual’s error. Several suggestions have been made to reduce these errors to increase the safety of the patients, including error reporting system, protection of voluntary reporting from legal issues, setting performance standards and expectations, and creating safety systems in health care organizations. Reduction in medical errors means patients’ safety and confidence in the health care system and for health care and its providers it means a degree of excellence by which the institute meets clients’ needs and exceeds their expectations. This can be achieved only when the system, the providers, and the patients play their part. Since medical errors cost a significant amount of money to the hospitals, the money saved by reducing or avoiding medical errors can be used for better patient care and safety. This will also save billions of dollars in health care spending, thereby reducing the cost of medical insurance. Several medical agencies, including the Institute of Medicine (IOM), have studied the root causes of medical errors and have concluded that one of the main causes is communication (Kohn, Corrigan, and Donaldson 26-48). What does this mean to the patients, the providers, and the institute? For patients, it means that they should make sure that they have communicated their main problem to the physician; in other words, patients should make sure that doctors know what they are here for and that doctors have understood their problem. The patient should disclose every detail correctly as asked by the doctor. Good communication to the doctor should mean that he/she has understood the patient’s perspective. Physicians should listen to patients, talk openly to them, do not mislead them, and warn them of any outstanding issue. The doctor should not devalue the patients’ or their family’s views. If there is a language barrier, interpreters should be arranged for. A doctor, not a lawyer, is the right person to defuse an angry patient, because an angry patient is a lawsuit waiting to happen. A doctor’s sloppy handwritten prescription or medical tests replaced by a printed text can help better communicate between the pharmacist and the laboratory. If the patient cannot read the prescription, it is possible the pharmacist may also not be able to read it; the patient should be vigilant enough to politely ask the doctor to rewrite it. As far as the system is concerned, a good communication is required at all levels to complete the cycle from patients to doctors to laboratories and pharmacists and back to doctors and patients. A ‘no news’ from the lab is not ‘good news’, and the patient should ask for it. The other cause of medical error is not following protocols and the guideline principles. Medicine is a highly skilled profession and requires that all its guidelines, principles, standards, and protocols are followed at each and every step. Although patients cannot and do not play a part in this cause, nurses who spend much time caring about the hospital patients are at the center of this cause. If they follow all the five rules of nursing, viz right drug, right route, right time, right patient, and right dose, many adverse reactions can be averted. If they follow a 6th rule of ‘ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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