According to the New England Journal of Medicine, at least 25% of hospitalized patients incur harm from medical mistakes. Many of those mistakes could have been prevented, say the experts. A few simple solutions could go a long way to reducing medical mistakes and errors. Studies indicate that some potential solutions actually do reduce errors that could lead to patient deaths.
- Create an open culture that promotes safety-no penalty for whistleblowers and a safe environment for staff, allowing them to be free to speak up when they notice a potential problem situation.
- Online reporting of statistics for hospitals and medical professionals. Database to include success rate for surgeries and procedures.
- Cameras and videotaping of surgical and other medical procedures to increase safety and compliance with best medical practices.
- Patient freedom to view doctor's notes and make corrections as needed.
- Stop prohibition of patient criticisms of their medical professionals and hospitals; allow ratings.
These are just a few easily implemented solutions that have already had success in some cities like New York. Ignoring the problem, covering up mistakes by colleagues and not allowing freedom to report errors only compounds the medical mistakes that are happening in great numbers. A solution like using cameras has been shown to increase the positive outcomes for patients simply because the doctors were aware that they were being watched carefully.
Source: Wall Street Journal, "How to Stop Hospitals From Killing Us," Marty Makary, September 21, 2012
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