Medical Errors In Healthcare

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Patient Safety In 1999, the Institute of Medicine released a report citing that medical errors accounted for approximately 98,000 deaths in the United States each year. It was also determined that medical errors have a direct impact on the spiraling cost of healthcare. With this revelation regulatory organizations, insurance companies and government official starting putting protocols and guidelines in place to decrease medical errors and create a culture of quality improvement (McGowan & Healey, 2009). This paper will discuss the impact of medical errors on patient care and the advantages of creating a culture of safety within a healthcare organization.
Medical Errors The Institute of Medicine (IOM) defined medical errors
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Approximately 50 billion dollars of the 2.391 trillion spent was due to medical errors and injuries. Medical errors can result in disability, death and longer hospital stays thus increasing cost. McGowan and Healey (2009) reported that the most common medical error was drug administration and this error adds approximately $5000 to the cost of each hospital admission. It was also reported that communication and lack of teamwork are the leading causes of medical…show more content…
Regulatory organizations and government officials began to focus on the need for quality in hopes to decrease medical errors and healthcare cost. The Joint Commission of Accredited Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) was one of the first regulatory organizations to develop standards of care or goals around specific patient safety issues. The program is known as JCAHO’s National Patient Safety Goals and it originally started with six goals and was implemented in 2003 (Catalano, 2002). JCAHO remains at the forefront of patient safety by expanding, revising and developing the National Patient Safety Goal Program each year. Many organizations and other regulatory agencies use JACHO’s safety goal program as the foundation to develop a “culture of safety.” Barnsteiner (2011), reported a “culture of safety is to lessen harm to patients and providers through both system effectiveness and individual performance (pg. 2). Organizations that promote a culture of safety are considered high reliability organizations. These organizations use a non-punitive approach to patient safety, focusing on “what went wrong not who did it.” The Quality and Safety Education for Nurses identify the following safety competencies that are needed to create a culture of

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