Preventable Medical Errors

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Thursday, 17 March 2016 01:03

Using technology to reduce medical errors

According to the American Association for Justice, 440,000 people die annually from preventable medical errors, making it the third leading cause of death in the United States. Because of the frequency and consequences of medical errors, from patient risk to the billions of dollars a year in increased costs worldwide, health systems are taking a harder look at medical error prevention. In this article, we’ll examine the types of medical errors, what is responsible for a majority of the nation’s medical errors, and how healthcare organizations are using technology and their own IT systems and processes as a strategy of prevention.

Types of Medical Errors

From hospitals and healthcare centers to pharmacies, nursing homes and labs, medical errors can occur from lack of information, training or experience, but also due to the sheer complexity of the healthcare system. Some of the most common medical errors involve:

Ways to prevent medical errors:

A variety of methods can help providers avoid medical errors in the healthcare setting. Some of the more popular and more successful ways include:

Designing a System to Prevent Medical Errors

One of the best ways to incorporate some of these methods into your day-to-day operation is to work with your IT team to design an organizational system with identified procedures, processes and accountable staff, and include ways to document ordering and error tracking. Do the errors come from lack of training in the system, not using the system, improper transcription or a lack of integration between systems? At CoreTech Revolution, we help providers with workflow analysis, EHR and HIE systems integration, patient portal setup and staff training and education. Once healthcare organizations have taken these necessary steps, they will be much less likely to experience medical errors in the future, and can also enjoy increased efficiencies, along with greater patient satisfaction and outcomes.