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What is being done to reduce preventable medical errors?

In a recent post, we discussed preventable medical errors. Such injuries usually arise from negligence or oversight, such as adverse drug reactions or preventable infections, which might have been avoided with better communication or more thorough patient intake and recordkeeping. Today’s post focuses on what various leaders are doing to fight the problem.

At a recent conference devoted to the topic of patient safety, the goal of eliminating all such medical errors by 2020 was articulated. Several political leaders joined in the endorsement, including Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton, and former Surgeon General Richard Carmona. 

To achieve that goal, the Clinton Global Initiative is working to secure public commitments, as well as the participation of hospitals, tech companies and patient advocates. Other initiatives across the country are seeking to similarly engage multiple demographics, bringing attention to this issue.

The world of modern medicine is complex. A patient’s care team may involve multiple medical professionals. Yet even nurses and other hospital staff play a crucial role, overseeing medication schedules, equipment sterilizations, and even matters as simple as having floors that are safe for all patients. All of those contributors must come together to provide for a safe patient experience. If any member on a team is negligent, injury or tragedy may follow.

Our law firm understands that it can be a scary prospect to check into a hospital and consent to a risky procedure. Those fears do not need to be aggravated by suspicions of negligent hospital or medical staff. Doctors are supposed to help patients get better, not worse. When a medical mistake does result in patient injury, it may take the advocacy of an experienced medical malpractice attorney to get proper compensation.

Related post: “Preventable medical errors: the third leading cause of death,” Jan. 23, 2015

Source: Forbes, “Can Business Savvy, Clout And Charisma Supercharge Patient Safety?” Michael Millenson, Jan. 29, 2015         

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