Principles of Preventing Medical Errors in Hospitals

happy smile senior patient with doctor after checking at hospital

The medical profession is, with no doubt, a profession that needs the best responsibility. When we are sick, we entrust our integrity to those doctors; people that, obviously, are perfectly trained and equipped to guard our health.
It is not surprising that training a doctor requires six years of degree plus four years of specialization. After more than ten years of education, the doctor is more than ready to start practicing.

With training that continues throughout their professional lives, these doctors are constantly renewing their knowledge and honing their skills. But still, they’re still people. And as such, they can be wrong. The problem is that a doctor’s mistake can cost us dearly.
Which makes it clear that at no time do we want to underestimate the training of physicians? Doctors are heroes who save lives on a day to day basis. But you have to know this medical negligence so that, if they occur, they can have the best possible outcome for both the patient and the doctor.

An error in the hospital is when there is a mistake in the medical care that is given to you. Mistakes can be made with:

  • The drugs
  • Surgery
  • The diagnosis
  • The team
  • Lab reports and other tests

Hospital errors are one among the leading causes of death. Doctors, nurses, and the hospital are working to make hospital care safer.
One of the causes to be taken into account in the results or quality of health care is precisely related to medical error, which is why today it constitutes a problem of great international concern and is of interest to all who we provide health services to.

Some authors suggest that medical errors is the most important causal factor of adverse events or undesired consequences of the medical care process, far above the malpractice or the patient’s conditions, so it requires greater vigilance.

Here Are Some of the Best Ways to Prevent Medical Errors:

Actively Participate in Your Health Care: Do whatever you can to help yourself and your healthcare providers to give you the best care.

  • Share your health information with your providers at the hospital. Don’t assume they already know you.
  • Know what tests are being done. Ask what the test is for, ask about the test results and what the results mean for your health.
  • Know what your condition is and the treatment plan. Ask questions when you don’t understand.
  • Ask a loved one or friend to accompany you to the hospital. They can help you get things done if you can’t do it yourself.
  • Find a primary care physician to work with you. It can help you if you have a lot of health problems or if you are in the hospital.
  • Before the surgery, make sure of the hospital experience and that the surgeon knows your case.
  • Go to a hospital you trust.
  • Go to a hospital where the type of surgery you are having is done many times.
  • You will prefer that doctors and nurses have a lot of experience with patients like you.
  • Make sure you and your surgeon know exactly where the operation is to be done.
  • Ask the surgeon to mark on your body where you are going to operate.
  • Lower your risk of infection; Remind your family, friends, and providers to wash their hands: When entering and leaving the room. Before and after touching you. Before and after wearing glove. After using the bathroom.
  • Take charge of your medications; Speak up if you think you are being given the wrong medicine or receiving a medicine at the wrong time. Know or ask for: The names of the drugs
  • What each drug does and its side effects
  • What time should you take them in the hospital?

All these help improve hospital safety.

Also all medications must be labeled with your name. All syringes, tubes, bags, and pill containers must be labeled. If you don’t see one, ask the nursing staff what medicine it is.

Ask the nursing staff if you are taking any “high risk” medications.
These medicines can cause harm if they’re not given the proper way. A few high-risk medications are blood thinners, insulin, and narcotic pain relievers. Ask what additional security measures are being taken.

Remedies to Reduce Medical Errors in Hospital.

  1. Commit to reducing errors in a short period of time: Focus on the leading causes of hospital complications and deaths, including surgical infections, adverse drug effects, pneumonia and more. Set a 1-year goal for this reduction and demonstrate commitment to your team.
  2. Recognize and reward employees’ efforts: Offer rewards to your team at any sign of improvement. This will show people that their efforts are important and recognized.
  3. Improve clinical staff education and training: people should be open to learning new techniques to take better care of their patients. You can do this through regular training sessions and reminders.
  4. Gather data and take initiative: Hospitals should be more proactive in tracking medical error data and, most importantly, in evaluating these numbers to build an action plan. It is important to be transparent about the number of errors that occur within the hospital and the steps that will be taken to avoid them in the future.
  5. Learn from what went right and what went wrong: If a mistake happens, the best approach is to treat it as a learning opportunity. Rather than just punishing those involved, find out what happened and what could have been done to avoid the problem. Then take appropriate action to correct the situation. Also learn from other hospitals and clinics that have gone through similar problems and managed to reverse the situation.

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