A medical error is a preventable medical mistake in the treatment process that can harm the patient. A recent study showed that after strokes, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. In every seven patients visiting the hospital daily, one is a victim of medical error. Medical errors are prevalent in any medical setting, including clinics, surgeries, pharmacies, laboratories, among others.
Medical errors are often viewed as avoidable human errors in healthcare. The subject is, however, quite complicated, and causes are related to a range of different factors, including lack of experience, incompetency, communication barriers, negligence, illegible handwriting, fatigue from overworking, just to name a few. There a dozen types of medical errors ranging from medication errors, prescription errors, misdiagnosis, delays in receiving treatment, surgical, and other mishaps.
• Medication Errors
Medication errors are the most common mistakes in the treatment process. They involve giving wrong medication in incorrect dose combinations to the wrong patients. Errors may also entail giving a number of drugs to the same patients without double-checking the instructions and interactions that the meds may have when taken together. Studies show that medical errors affect an average of 1.5 million people each year. Healthcare facilities have put different measures in an effort to minimize cases of medication errors. For instance, scanning a patient’s wristbands to match their prescribed medications has gone a long way in reducing cases of medication mistakes.
• Prescription errors
Prescription errors are also quite common. Most prescription errors result in no harm or short-term low to moderate effects on the patient. However, some can be fatal with severe consequences that can result in death. They occur when a physician or healthcare personnel writes a dose of a higher or lower magnitude. It can also happen when the physician gives wrong instructions or failing to mention relevant information about the drugs.
Diagnostic mistakes are quite rare. However, misdiagnosing a patient is still possible. When someone is misdiagnosed, they are also treated with the wrong medications.
Delays in treatment often have serious impacts. It can either result in lifetime defects such as irreversible disabilities or even death. For instance, if a stroke patient is not given immediate medical attention, it can result in permanent partial or complete body paralysis.
Human is to error, while medication errors cannot be eliminated, they can be reduced. The first important step is to detect them since minor errors in the system can have serious consequences. Reporting should also be encouraged by availing a blame-free environment where people can bring forward cases of medication errors without fear of being reprimanded or punished.
A medical error is a mistake in the care of a patient that could have been avoided and could hurt the patient. A recent study found that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, after strokes, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. One medical error happens every day for every seven people who go to the hospital. Medical mistakes happen all the time in hospitals, clinics, surgeries, pharmacies, and labs, among other places.
People often think of medical errors as avoidable mistakes that people make in health care. The topic is, however, very complicated, and the problems can be caused by a wide range of things, such as a lack of experience, incompetence, communication problems, carelessness, bad handwriting, and overwork, to name a few. There are a dozen different kinds of medical mistakes, such as wrong prescriptions, wrong diagnoses, delays in treatment, surgical mistakes, and more.
• Mistakes with medicines
Most treatment mistakes happen when people take the wrong medicine. They involve giving the wrong patients the wrong medicines in the wrong doses. Errors can also happen when the same patient is given more than one drug without double-checking the instructions and possible drug interactions. Studies show that about 1.5 million people are hurt by medical mistakes every year. Different steps have been taken by healthcare facilities to reduce the number of medication errors. For example, scanning the wristbands of patients to match their prescriptions has helped a lot to cut down on medication mistakes.
• Prescription errors
Prescription errors are also quite common. Most prescription mistakes don’t hurt the patient or only hurt them in the short term. But some of them can be fatal and have serious effects that can lead to death. They happen when a doctor or other medical worker writes a dose that is too high or too low. It can also happen if the doctor gives the wrong instructions or leaves out important information about the medicine.
Diagnostic mistakes are quite rare. But it is still possible to make a wrong diagnosis. When a wrong diagnosis is made, the wrong medicines are given to the person.
Treatment was put off
Most of the time, treatment delays have bad effects. It can cause permanent problems like disabilities that can’t be fixed or even death. For example, if a stroke patient doesn’t get medical help right away, it can lead to permanent paralysis of part or all of their body.
Medication mistakes can’t be completely stopped, but they can be cut down. The first important step is to find them, because even small mistakes in the system can have big effects. People should also be encouraged to report medication errors by creating a blame-free environment where they don’t have to worry about getting in trouble.