Medical malpractice is a growing issue in California and the rest of the country. Medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., causing more fatalities than Alzheimer’s, strokes, and diabetes. Medical errors affect one in seven Medicare patients and can happen in any health care institute.
Some of the most common medical mistakes include infections from hospitals, anesthesia-related errors, and medication errors. Monitoring and responding to medical errors are key strategies to improve health care standards. In addition, getting more information to the public can improve standards of care and lower costs.
Communication and patient-related issues
Experts monitor eight common root causes of medical errors. Communication breakdowns are the most common causes of medical errors. When verbal or written communication fails between doctors, nurses, or patients, the results are often medical errors. Patient-related issues are another common root cause of medical errors. Patient issues include inadequate patient assessment or the wrong patient identification.
Bad information flow and human problems
Within health care, information flow is crucial to communicate with different services. Sometimes, necessary information doesn’t follow the patient to a new facility or organization. Without the proper information about the patient, medication errors are likely. Human problems stem from not following policies, procedures and processes efficiently. Knowledge-related issues happen when health care workers don’t have the proper training or time. Human problems include poor documentation and mislabeled specimens.
Transfer of knowledge organization and staffing
Failure of organizational transfer of knowledge comes from inadequate education and insufficient training. Transfer of knowledge is important for facilities where staff is temporary or new. Inadequate staffing patterns can put health care workers under more stress, which increases the risk of medical errors and malpractice.
Medical errors can happen even when people are doing everything right. Technical failures with medical implants, devices, and equipment can increase the risk of medical errors. Patients are also at risk of medical errors from outdated procedures or inadequate policies. When medical professionals properly monitor and correct medical errors, health care institutes can better protect patients.