Statistics show around 2.4 million medical errors could have been avoided each year in the United States (Consumer Reports, 2013). It is possible to prevent hospital-acquired infections, falls, the wrong type of blood being administered, the development of bedsores, and several surgical blunders. Because of the different treatments and medication needed to address these errors, the United States paid $19.5 billion in 2008 (Consumer Reports, 2013). If a patient falls, it’s impossible to prevent human mistakes, such as operating on the wrong leg or leaving surgical instruments in the patient. Hospitals and their employees are still held responsible for the errors that have been made. This cost should not be borne by the insurance company or the patient but rather by the hospital.
An issue that frequently arises in patients who have just undergone knee replacement surgery is trouble bearing weight on their left knee. Nothing more was done for the patient’s problem except administering an antibiotic. She should have been listened to more closely when she first arrived at the hospital, which would have led to the detection of her disease sooner. In the absence of surgery, she would have avoided the extended hospital stay and the lengthy postoperative care. Fortunately, if we’d known better, we could have prevented all of this. Something that should never have happened has resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenditures and agony and suffering. According to American Medical Association rules, additional treatments should be covered by the institutions that made a mistake because additional costs could have been avoided if the protocol had been followed correctly. Medical mistakes and illnesses are the last things patients want to deal with while in the hospital. It is possible to cut down on or eliminate the costs of medical errors by making healthcare providers more aware of regulations and procedures.
Errors must be eliminated, and the standard of care must be raised. Maintaining open lines of communication and creating an environment of accountability can help you attain this aim to ensure patient safety and improve overall quality. Reporting errors is critical (Rodziewicz et al., 2021). We can only figure out what went wrong if someone reports it. This allows us to learn from our mistakes and prevent them from happening again. Healthcare practitioners may be reluctant to disclose their mistakes out of fear of repercussions. If policies are in place, employees should report errors without fear of repercussion. Thus, a more significant number of people would come forward and help resolve safety concerns and bring about constructive alterations. Patients’ results would be better, and the number of errors would be reduced due to the new system. The blame-and-punishment culture inhibits employees from reporting difficulties in the workplace (Rodziewicz et al., 2021). If we do not do something about it, fewer doctors will be reporting, which means more patients are in danger.
It is essential to communicate appropriately to reduce errors and improve patient care. Medical malpractice may occur if there is a breakdown in communication between the treating physician and the patient. During the shift report, team members are updated on the progress of a patient’s therapy. Handoffs can have significant ramifications for care and safety if done incorrectly. Complete or erroneous information might lead to medication errors, wrong-site surgery, and even death. Handoff errors and repetition can be minimized by cutting down on the number of transfers that are not necessary to get the job done. By using the same procedure each time, shift reports may be uniformly given to staff (Friesen et al., 2008).
Healthcare quality can be improved by providing incentives that inspire and motivate healthcare providers. As a result of this, the best service providers will be rewarded. Healthcare providers may be frustrated that most hospitals have procedures in place that penalize mistakes while failing to recognize and celebrate successful outcomes. Appreciation goes a long way in a setting where employees are often stressed and exhausted. In most successful firms, workers are routinely recognized and rewarded for their efforts. When employees feel valued and cared for, they are more likely to give their all on the job. People who are happy in their jobs are more likely to stick around and do a better job over time. Caring for others will be difficult if you are not motivated by a sense of self-worth and worthiness.
Pay-for-performance (P4P) programs reward providers based on the quality of their health care services. Patients gain from caregivers being paid based on outcomes, as they are motivated to deliver great care or risk losing money. As a result, providers are held accountable for the quality of their work rather than just completing the customer’s request. This will allow the healthcare industry to increase patient safety and well-being (Abduljawad & Al-Assaf, 2011).
Abduljawad, A., & Al-Assaf, A. F. (2011). Incentives for better performance in healthcare. Sultan Qaboos University medical journal, 11(2), 201–206. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3121024/
Consumer Reports. (2013, July 20). Hospitals will have to pay for their mistakes. Product Reviews and Ratings – Consumer Reports. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2008/08/hospitals-will-have-to-pay-for-their-mistakes/index.htm
Friesen, M. A., White, S. V., & Byers, J. F. (2008). Handoffs: Implications for nurses – Patient safety and quality – NCBI bookshelf. National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2649/
Rodziewicz, T. L., Houseman, B., & Hipskind, J. E. (2021, January 4). Medical error reduction and prevention – StatPearls – NCBI bookshelf. National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499956/