Nobody likes to admit it, but mistakes in the medical field can and will happen. Luckily, most of them won’t cause lasting issues. However, there are times when a misstep can lead to a lifelong problem for the patient or even death. Medical professionals want to avoid those two possibilities at all costs, which is why we’ve made a list of how medical facilities can prevent mistakes.
The Two Types of Mistakes
Before getting into prevention tips, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re aware of the two main types of mistakes that medical professionals make. The first are errors of omission. These occur when professionals don’t take preventative actions as they should. The second are errors of commission. They occur when medical staff members take preventative measures but do so in the wrong way.
Even though it may seem like asking questions is something that only newer doctors and nurses forget, it’s actually more relevant for the experienced ones. Medical interns are way more likely to ask questions because they’re aware that they don’t know everything. Conversely, a 10+ year medical professional may miss something because they don’t ask questions at all. Whether it’s a matter of pride, stubbornness, or plain embarrassment, experienced healthcare providers need to ask for help if they’re unsure about what to do. When a patient’s life is on the line, there’s no time for petty squabbles.
Strive for Accuracy
More often than not, errors of commission happen when the person who made the decision had bad information. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, a doctor or nurse might’ve written something down incorrectly or forgotten it altogether. If issues like this are common, make sure your training guides are clear.
At other times, the inaccuracy comes from the patient. It could just be that the patient was flustered and misunderstood you, or they could have been lying because they were embarrassed or afraid to tell the truth. Make sure that the patient knows that they’re in a safe space to avoid problems like this. When you can’t communicate with the patient, vital signs monitoring equipment will give you the critical information that you’ll need to know. All States M.E.D. has a great selection of them available for medical facilities looking for updated models.
Use Your Time Wisely
There are only so many hours in the day, and unfortunately for medical professionals, there never seem to be quite enough. That’s why we’re going to focus on time management for our last tip on how medical facilities can prevent mistakes. Ensuring every doctor and nurse is using their time wisely is almost impossible, so it’s important to make sure that they know how to prioritize their tasks.
Checking on patients, especially critical or elderly ones, should be everyone’s first concern. Doing research, consulting with others, and taking time to think are some others that should have high priority. Even making sure there’s some time to sleep is essential. If a healthcare provider is exhausted, they’re more likely to make a mistake. There are plenty of other factors to consider, but they can vary depending on the medical facility and the people that work there.