Free Essay Example - Reducing Medical Errors

Published: 2023-01-09
Free Essay Example - Reducing Medical Errors
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Medicine Healthcare Nursing care Human services
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1760 words
15 min read

Medical errors are always barriers to quality healthcare delivery. Most people argue that committing mistakes in the line of duty is human nature. However, when mistakes are committed in healthcare, the outcomes are alarming, and there are higher chances of losing human life. The most important ways of reducing medical errors are to promote interdisciplinary collaboration, encourage high-reliability culture, and use evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practice can be implemented in nursing to reduce medical errors, and mortality rates, and enhance continuity of care and professional engagement.

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Essential Departments

Among the departments that I will interact with to ensure patient safety is human resource management. I understand that to promote these methods of reducing medical errors. Promoting ethical principles among healthcare professionals is essential. Truthfulness and confidentiality is the first principle that medical practitioners can uphold to guide them in eradicating medical errors (Senders, 2018). When working together, physicians need to support transparency and high levels of integrity. To achieve the goal of interdisciplinary collaboration, health care practitioners are supposed to develop professional relations based on truthfulness and confidentiality.

Autonomy is an ethical principle that implies an individual's self-determination and freedom to make decisions independently. In a working environment, doctors are supposed to be granted to make decisions freely, especially in times of medical emergencies (Senders, 2018). For instance, in the case of an emergency where an expectant mother is about to give birth and the obstetrician is not around; the nurse can decide whether the delivery will be normal of through the caesarian section. Integration of autonomy with high-reliability culture is an effective means of avoiding medical errors (Makary, & Daniel, 2016). In the healthcare setup, doctors and nurses will be highly motivated to take on duties when they are free to make some decisions. The principle of autonomy applies to patients as well. Doctors have to allow patients to make medical decisions independently without forcing them.

The ethical principle is the key to overcoming medical errors. Under this principle, the interdisciplinary collaboration and encouragement of high-reliability culture will be upheld (Makary, & Daniel, 2016). For example, a doctor carrying out a surgical procedure will be very keen not to harm the patient. The principle of beneficence compels health care professionals to always focus on doing what is good. The culture of high reliability as a way of avoiding committing medical errors can be reinforced by applying the principle of beneficence.

My Future Role in Healthcare and How I Will Contribute To Patient Safety

As a professional nurse in a health care organization has noticed increasing medical mistakes in my region of operation, I would come up with a plan to help reduce the errors if not to eliminate them. I would consider the Total Quality management quality initiative and also the Six Sigma quality initiative. Six Sigma refers to an approach that seeks to define measure, analyze and control. Sigma six will help to understand the causes of defects and how to handle them because it describes quantitatively how an individual process occurs from initiation stage to maturity stages (Brussee, 2012). Thus, when a process is monitored using sigma six approaches, it will be easy to tell how beneficial or how defective it is to the organization.

Total quality management (TQM) comprises of organization's efforts to create a permanent working climate which provides room for improvement and increase the ability of the organization to produce high-quality products and services. TQM encompasses several techniques and tools for quality control. With the two quality initiatives above the organization will be able to improve its product's quality and increase organizational services and also improve the standards of care (Goetsch & Davis, 2014).

Various issues that are associated with health matters mostly affect developing countries and they include poor governance, child labor, sweat jobs, environmental degradation, and human slavery are some of the important issues facing developing countries. Al of these issues can be explained as factors that affect poor societies either directly or indirectly. Some poor people find themselves engaged in activities like child labor and they are forced to practice them as a mode of surviving in the country. Indonesia is an excellent example of a country faced with the challenge of sweat jobs where the poor undergo hardships to earn a living. It happened with Nike Company. Another example is India where the coca cola company where workers received poor pay after hard labor. Coca-Cola did resolve the matter after some time after they started recycling water and therefore made a great positive impact on the environment. India also has experienced many cases of child labor topping the list of countries with most cases of child labor (Goetsch & Davis, 2014).

Other Mechanisms

Kapp (2003) explains the importance of integrating HCOs and managers into the organizational design in regards to the safety of the patients and medication error. Instead of statistical information, he articles presents only qualitative data gathered from various literature. The most common preventable errors in healthcare organizations are 44% technical errors, 17% diagnosis error, 12% failures of prevention and 10% drug dosage error. Therefore the argument aligns with my proposed change of why it is essential to have managers have a say in ways of developing and encouraging patient safety. It is further expounded on the nature of the problem regarding errors in medication and how little attention is paid to the issue and it provides statistical information on how costly nursing malpractice is as well as numbers regarding incidences of misconduct in the United States. According to statistics, approximately half of nursing homes in the United States experience injury of about 10% of patients (Kapp, 2003). Hence, my research is supported as it offers details of the severity of medical errors in nursing homes.

Hosford (2008) assesses the significance of integrating IT with nursing and pharmacy to tackle the phenomenon of medication errors. No, the article does not offer any statistical information but rather qualitative explanations. According to Hosford (2008), errors in medication come about in 19% of the administered doses and approximately 7% of such errors can result in a fatality. This article will help in understanding ways of reducing medical errors in nursing homes. Hosford (2008) explains that there is a high risk of medical errors in the United States and therefore there is a need to create an intervention. The author assessed a sample of 145 hospital supervisors in 48 sample States to determine quality improvement. This article explains that there are approximately 98,000 deaths every year resulting from medical errors (Hosford, 2008). This article will help in understanding the preventive measures already taken and their effectiveness.

According to Tschannen & Lee (2011), medical errors majorly emanate from the lack of proper communication between members of a healthcare team. Using statistical data, it explains the impact of the lack of communication channels in a healthcare organization and its implications. Failure of communication amongst nurses and physicians results in doubled risk for mortality in patients (Tschannen & Lee, 2011). This article supports my topic in that improved medical practice/communication will reduce the risk of medical errors. According to McFadden et al. (2006), there are numerous challenges that hospital administrators are facing in fighting the problems related to medical errors. Statistical information was gathered here to determine how to reduce the challenge associated with medical errors. Challenges related to errors in medication often cause over 98,000 fatalities annually within the U.S (McFadden et al., 2006). This article is essential in that it expands on the understanding of challenges caused medical errors.

Lee et al. (2011) argue that poor service quality is the major factor that promotes medical errors among healthcare providers. The article uses statistical data to assess how organizational culture sustains the existence of medical errors. Most medical errors are preventable, and with poor corporate management, there is a high rate of medication errors (Lee et al., 2011). This article will help us understand the role of organizational culture in influencing medical errors. According to Uribe et al. (2002), one of the main reasons there are medical errors is because they are underreported across healthcare institution. In using statistical data, the article assesses factors that affect the reporting of medical errors. Because medical errors are underreported, there is an increase in this phenomenon across medical institutions (Uribe et al., 2002). Uribe will help me to understand how underreporting influences medical errors.

Regardless of the situation, building a rapport with patients is key for medical staff. Having that closeness and treating them like family versus a job, helps patients better understand that medical errors exist even though they come with a risk. If a relationship is formed before the mistake, patients will be willing to return to their provider and in most instances. They want to be healed; therefore, their persistence at the medical facility may lead to the use of more resources compared to those who receive the correct or intended treatment.

The role of the joint commission is to ensure that patient health care and safety through the facilitation of various related support services that will lead to improved healthcare. Among the services offered by the commission include certification and accreditation, information dissemination, patient safety, public policy initiatives, and performance measurement. An example of a medical error that occurs normally is the issuance of wrong medication. Such failure is dangerous to patients. Hence it should be avoided by all means.


However, there have been barriers in implementing evidence-based practice such as administrative support and poor comprehension of research. Journal clubs can reduce the gap between research and clinical practice. Nurses need to analyze the articles they are reading to achieve knowledge translation. Journal clubs improve a person's caregiver's skills in reading the research and critical appraisal. Journal clubs can enhance essential elements in ensuring evidence by the means of communication and innovation. Furthermore, the evidence-based practice can be improved through the change request process which allows nurses to make suggestions or recommendations about the best method.


Brussee, W. (2012). Statistics for Six Sigma Made Easy! Revised and Expanded Second Edition. McGraw-Hill Professional.

Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. Pearson.

Hosford, S. B. (2008). Hospital Progress in Reducing Error: The Impact of External Interventions. Hospital Topics, 86(1), 9-20. doi:10.3200/htps.86.1.9-20

Kapp, M. B. (2003). Resident Safety and Medical Errors in Nursing Homes. Journal of Legal Medicine, 24(1), 51-76. doi:10.1080/713832123

Lee, D., Lee, S. M., & Schniederjans, M. J. (2011). Medical error reduction: the effect of employee satisfaction with organizational support. The Service Industries Journal, 31(8), 1311-1325. doi:10.1080/02642060903437592

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