Despite advancements in patient safety measures, health care systems continue to experience an onslaught of medical-related errors.
"To Err is Human," published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1999, put a spotlight on the human impact of medical errors. More recently, a study published in the May 2016 issue of BMJ* made the assertion that medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
But medical errors are not solely the result of poor treatment by bad doctors. Inadequate training, systemic and institutional failures, and/or disrupted communication within medical teams (faulty oversight, poorly coordinated care, lack of implementation of safety protocols or checklists) all play a role.
Obviously, there is a pressing need to identify the root causes of medical errors and to investigate solutions that emphasize patient safety. Such solutions may include a fuller implementation of simulation training in healthcare.
How to Erect a Medical Culture Focused on Patient Safety
The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) issued a report which calls for 'federal agencies to create a portfolio of national standard patient safety processes' across the care continuum, and 'to retire invalid measures that are not useful or meaningful.'
Here, below, are the eight recommendations from NPSF towards achieving this goal. The full report, "Free from Harm: Accelerating Patient Safety Improvement Fifteen Years after To Err Is Human" (Boston, MA; 2015) is available directly from National Patient Safety Foundation website
Making Patient Safety a Global Medical Priority
Healthcare providers must be properly guided and properly trained to handle patients with the utmost attention to their ultimate care well being. Creating a culture of safety as a global priority means coordinating and collaborating on a patient-centric set of standards across all aspects of a patient's journey. This spectrum must encompass, as well, the healthcare provider's education, training, and deliberate practice as a professional.
Simulation-based training has proven to be a viable component of medical education that can
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