No end to errors

  1. When the Institute of Medicine issued its startling assessment of medical errors three years ago, one of its authors figured it would generate an initial flurry of media accounts to be followed by a swift descent into obscurity. The report led to hearings on Capitol Hill and created a consortium of companies pressing a patient safety initiative. But in reality, there has been talk but little progress in reducing medical errors.

    Washington Post, Dec. 3,20002
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2002Nov30.html
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   renerian
    Good article. That is alot of injured clients.

    renerian
  4. by   Jenny P
    Karen, I read this article yesterday (sent to me courtesy of my state nursing association's newsline. I have seen some changes in my workplace in the past 3 years; but it seems to take forever to implement some of the smallest changes. But they are happening, and I am amazed at some of the changes that have recently been made at my hospital. We do computerized chrting and all meds are in the computerized pyxsus machines. I personally will be thrilled when doctors start ordering meds via computers! The hand hygiene campaign has been mandatory reading for ALL staff (including the docs!!) at my hospital. We have never had interns and residents here so do not have to deal with that type of a situation. Hospitalists have been around our facility for about 2 yrs; and Intensivists are being introduced in the past 6-8 months here; this seems to be an interesting concept whose time has come.

    Anyway, this is a great article and I'm hoping more people will read it and give input here on changes where they work.
  5. by   -jt
    The above article states ".....numerous studies from aviation, aerospace, the military and other industries linking fatigue with mistakes, sometimes fatal ones....Defenders of the current system say that no studies have linked fatigue or inadequate supervision to medical errors;.....Long work hours by doctors "especially residents.. are incompatible with a safe, high quality health care system," warned Stanford anesthesiologists David M. Gaba and Steven K. Howard in a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine...."

    The public, media, physicians, and hospital administrators need to understand that long working hours by Registered Nurses also are "incompatible with a safe, high quality health care system", but, everyday, RNs in hospitals all over the country are being forced to work in shifts upwards of 16 hours straight. Somehow that important fact gets lost in the discussion of long working hours and medical errors where the effect on only the physician's ability to function safely is considered.
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 4, '02
  6. by   -jt
    <I'm hoping more people will read it and give input>

    letters@washpost.com

  7. by   Jenny P
    HEY Everybody! There was a stff meeting yesterday and guess what? Our hospital is going to the docs doing computerized orders within the next 6-8 months! I am so excited about this I could just cheer! However, I did ask my Head Nurse who was going to teach the docs to type.........

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