In this article, I will be analyzing everything on medical errors, including their common causes. Have fallen victim to a medical error recently? Contact a lawyer in Texas today about a medical mistake and make your pain known.
What Is Medical Error?
A medical error is referred to as the health implication of the adverse effect of treatments that prove harmful to the patient. These adverse effects can include incomplete treatment and diagnosis of a disease, injury, syndrome,
behavior, infection, or other ailments.
Any incidents in the hospital that harm patients are generally referred to as the word error. However, in healthcare, both the word human error and medical error, as far we talk under the healthcare discussion, mean the result of inappropriate medical care administered by a physician.
What Are The Common Causes Of Medical Errors?
There are generally known eight root causes of medical errors which I will list and explain as follows.
1. Communication problems
communication is imperative in achieving any organizational goal. In a narrower context, while we discuss communication problems as one of the key causes of medical errors, effective communication is essential to ensure that the needed medical information is passed and circulated among the members of any healthcare system. An effective flow of communication would ensure that the needed line of action is passed and understood by everyone, including the group of medical practitioners concerned.
A communication breakdown would prevent the smooth flow of the division of labor and misunderstanding of the right medical procedures. Effective communication is needed to read a doctor’s laboratory test, the result of the diagnosis, etc by pharmacists before the right drugs are prescribed.
2. Inadequate information flow
Inadequate information flow is directly caused by poor communication. Either written or spoken, if the information is not rightly understood many medical errors can ensue from it. The consequences of the inadequate flow of information in a healthcare system may include misinterpretation of medical tests, doctors’ writings to pharmacists, etc.
3. Human problems
Human problems in the healthcare system occur when staff or medical practitioners fail to carry out medical care, processes, and procedures according to standards and policies.
For example, inappropriate labeling of specimens, and lack of technical knowledge in performing the medical care and procedures needed at a point in time.
4. Patient-related issues
Patient-related issues occur when a particular patient lacks, has insufficient education, and can not follow written information on the use of medicines or handling of a prescribed medical instrument. Uneducated patients will make the documentation of their sufficient identity almost impossible.
5. Organization transfer of knowledge
When a temporary healthcare giver is used or in the case where new ones are just employed, there will be a need for transfer of knowledge. In this case, the new healthcare giver might be lacking sufficient knowledge in medical care and might end up committing human errors, especially when under the supervision of a much more experienced physician.
6. Staffing patterns and workflow
Inadequate staffing alone does not lead to medical errors but can put healthcare workers in situations where they are more likely to make a mistake.
7. Technical failures
Another area where medical errors occur is when medical instruments and devices start to develop technical faults. This will alter their efficient performance which may result in medical errors.
8. Inadequate policies
Clinical policies employed in a particular healthcare center have a direct influence on the performance and the nature in which staff carry out medical procedures and processes. If there’s a problem in the clinical policy, delivering healthcare service might be prone to errors and unknown roots of patient dissatisfaction.