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This milestone report revealed that medical errors in the US had attained pandemic status. Nearly 180,000 Americans die annually…
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Download file to see previous pages This followed a declaration made in 2007 by the Federal Centre for Medical and Medicaid services (CMS) denying settlement of Medicaid funds for treatment of preventable errors (Armitage, 2009). This paper explores sources of medical errors and their prevention among heath workers.
According to the Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force, a medical error is “the failure of an intended action to be accomplished as planned or use of an incorrect plan to achieve an aim” (Armitage, 2009). Thus, errors can result from wrongful practice, procedures, products, or systems applied by a health professional or institution on a patient. This definition of medical errors define the three dimensions of patient’s safety namely error prevention, visibility of errors and effect mitigation. Medication errors occur most commonly in administering prescribing (U.S. Department of Education, 2011). Common errors include:
There are two classes of medical errors namely active and latent errors. Active errors occur at individual level and, have instant results while latent are errors results from system or operation failure. Thus, the effects of a latent error may not be visible immediately but have long-term impacts on the society.
Emotional Status – Emotional reactions such as anger, anxiety, boredom and fear often interferes with workers performance leading to medical errors. Emotional responses may result from over-work or negative attitudes.
Hard-to-read handwriting- Medical workers have the most illegible handwriting, which contributes to medical errors. Fortunately, automated medication ordering has reduced the problem especially on prescription.
Surgical errors have adverse effects on patients and, often lead to loss of life. They occur due to wrongful procedures, inappropriate sites, or surgical personnel. Studies conducted in Utah and Colorado hospitals indicated that surgical errors accounted for nearly 75% of observable medical ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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