Essay: Medical Safety Poor

Pages: 4 (1205 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Medicine

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[. . .] Over the past decade, efforts have been made to define and measure medical related errors. A huge problem has been indentified to the tune of $2 billion dollars a year which represents the cost of preventable medication related errors. Since identifying these serious problems, several valid solutions have been proposed and implemented in many medical establishments. Standardization and use of new technology to improve accuracy have proven to be excellent weapons in the fight against medication related errors.

Standard Protocols and Procedures

Standard protocols and procedures is an effective way to begin to eliminate common mistakes. Standardizing the way in which work is performed and managed within a medical establishment is the low-hanging fruit in the quest to improve medication-related errors. Standardizing protocols, devices and procedures amongst medical facilities across the nation will allow our healthcare provider system to run as a well-oiled machine. Reducing variation in processes, policies, procedures and devices across the board will allow for increased precision and delivery of services without defects. Standardization allows for controllable treatment procedures with predictable and repeatable outcomes.

Technology to Improve Accuracy

Dosing errors can be eliminated through the use of technology. Dosing errors include administration, prescribing and dispensing errors. Prescriptions written in one unit such as micrograms and calculated in another unit (such as milligrams) is a very preventable error. Tools such as the CPOE or Computerized Physician Order-Entry System which allows orders to be written directly into the computer and transcribed to the pharmacy and the Automated Dispensing Cabinets (ADC) which has an automated dispensing system with frequently used medications in patient-care areas have proven to be great in reducing dosing errors. Nearly 60% of hospitals in the United States use the ADC process (Grissinger & Globus, 2004). CPOE has also shown positive results and is responsible decreasing medication errors by 40% in facilities it has been used.

Unfortunately, a recent study suggests no progress in patient safety in the past decade a meager 1.5% of hospitals are utilizing methods and systems that have already shown success. What this means is 98.5% hospitals around the country have the opportunity to save lives, reduce overall costs and provide better care and they are opting out. The study conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the rate of adverse affects due to medical errors hasn't budged since the 1999 study. What do we do? Now is the time to hold medical facilities accountable. Patient safety isn't option, it is mandatory and all medical facilities from administration to staff should be committed to the elimination of these errors. Government (both federal and state) should institute a score card which rates hospitals on their implementation and results in the reduction of medical errors. If the only way to get medication safety to be a priority to medical facilities is to force them to comply, then the government should take action. How many more people must die and be harmed unnecessarily? Our future focus should be on instituting mandatory requirements on hospitals to implement the proven solutions to reduce medication related medical errors. This is not an option, but rather our only way forward in ensuring patient safety and high standards of service.

References

Bates, David W.; Spell, Nathan; Cullen, David J., et al. (1997).The Costs of Adverse Drug Events in Hospitalized Patients. JAMA. 277:307 -- 311.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (National Center for Health Statistics). (1999). Births and deaths: Preliminary data for 1997. National Vital Statistics Reports.

Grissinger, M., Globus, N.J. (2004). How Technology Affects Your Risk of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Medical Safety Poor.  (2011, February 11).  Retrieved December 7, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/medical-safety-poor/4434575

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"Medical Safety Poor."  Essaytown.com.  February 11, 2011.  Accessed December 7, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/medical-safety-poor/4434575.