Medication Management: Decreasing Medicinal Errors

Healthcare Training Resource
November 5, 2013 — 1,077 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

Medical errors are quite common today. About 2 to 3 percent of all children discharged from hospitals in the US are victims of medical errors according to a pediatric study. This is a major cause for concern. Another study showed that critical care units in the UK have almost a 15 percent error rate. While most of the errors are minor like wrong prescriptions, a good number of them are life-threatening.

This level of performance is completely unacceptable. The first way to prevent such errors is the complete incorporation of state and national medical standards. Doing this may cost some extra money, but it is nothing compared to the damage that may otherwise be caused by losing a life because of a minor mistake. This makes patient safety priority. If a hospital is responsible for the death of an individual, it is costly on humanitarian and socio-economic viewpoints alike.

Analyzing the Cause of Issue before Correcting it

The Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Healthcare Failure Mode Effect Analysis (HFMEA) are excellent standards for analyzing the causes of fatalities. Based on these analyses, you may work out better standards that will help you reduce the number of medical errors that take place in your medical center. There are a number of strategies that you could use once you find out the real reasons behind the occurrence of such events.

Run Regular and Unannounced Checks

One easy way to take cut down on the number of errors is to run routine and unannounced checks on hospitals. This way you can keep a check on doctors in case they slack off and do not follow correct protocol in order to save time or effort. You can also install video surveillance cameras within the hospital so that you can determine the cause of certain errors with ease. There are quite a few hindrances before taking such a drastic step though.

Share Technology and Developments Between Hospitals

Share your technology. Most hospitals try to top their competitors by keeping technology to themselves for financial gains. The hospitals in the world are never enough for the number of patients that exist. If there is a free route for information to be transferred between hospitals, medical discoveries will be accelerated. The profitability will remain almost the same.

Team Building Mechanisms

One easy-to-implement mechanism is hosting team building events. The only issue with this is that most doctors do not have the time for such events because of the number of patients that must be treated. However, if you see that there is an opportunity for such a session, schedule it. Many medication errors take place because of misunderstandings and communication gaps between doctors and nurses. This can be curbed with the help of such programs. Also, ensure that doctors and nurses proactively engage in self-reporting.

Transparency and Public Statements

Stringent regulations exist about medical care because of the potential danger that every patient faces while being treated. Transparency will cut down the errors by an extremely large volume. If a single hospital starts to display their percentage of errors, other medical institutions will be forced to do the same. This will make hospitals more cautious so as to not lose brand name.

Healthcare Training Resource