What Hospitals Can Do to Prevent Medical Errors

The hospital is one facility that anyone would hope is free from errors because mistakes that are made here often equate to loss of lives. Unfortunately, medical errors do occur and some are even due to negligence. To prevent people from committing mistakes in a healthcare facility, here are five things hospitals can do.

Simplify the process

One of the most common causes of medical errors is the complexity of processes. And they’re not even medical processes that doctors should be aware of. Some of them are administrative processes, such as directing a patient to the proper physician or handing a patient’s chart to the right healthcare professionals.

What hospital administrations should do is implement a standardized process and educate every employee in their facility. This way, everyone knows what the protocols are for every subject matter.

Improve the flow of information

Information is vital in a hospital. Doctors need to know what’s ailing their patients and if the hospital has the equipment for their treatment. But instead of spending precious minutes trying to find out if the hospital is equipped to treat a particular disease, physicians would do better to have the information they need immediately.

One way to fix this is to use data management tools, like what Illumisoft healthcare software programs offer. By implementing a well-structured data managing tool, there’s less guesswork in a hospital, which also means lesser risk in making a mistake.

Implement double-checking protocols

Mistakes in a hospital could also be avoided if there’s a procedure that ensures all important decisions will be double-checked. For example, every time a nurse has to input on his tablet that he needs medicine for a patient, a message will appear asking him if Prozac is what he really needs.

This way, there’s a momentary pause allowing him to confirm the action he is about to take. It may be a tedious process but at least, it will help minimize errors in the hospital.

Adjust workloads and work schedules

Healthcare professionals are among the most overworked people in the world, which is alarming because they are the ones who need to be in peak condition to properly treat patients. That’s the reality of the healthcare industry, but this has to be fixed if people want lesser mistakes to occur in a hospital.

Doctors and nurses shouldn’t be forced to spend countless hours attending to every patient because eventually, their cognitive functions will start to perform poorly when they are exhausted. Cut down either their working hours or workloads to help them get enough rest and remain mentally alert.

Be vigilant against negligence

Another reason hospitals encounter errors is negligence. Doctors sometimes make the mistake of providing the wrong treatment because a patient shares a similar name to another patient, and the physicians accidentally switch their treatments. This scenario can be easily avoided if doctors and nurses check themselves every time for any inattentiveness.

Hospitals are the last place you would want people to make mistakes, but it does happen. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize these errors if total prevention is impossible. The steps above can help a lot.

Sunit Kumar Nandi

Sysadmin, coder, e-magazine editor, tech reviewer, freelancer. I love science and all things nice. Leading officer of Tekh Decoded. Owner of Techno FAQ Digital Media.

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