Errors can kill
Surprisingly, even the most brilliant doctors are more human than we think they are. Medical professionals study extensive hours to become who they are today (Doctors, surgeons, nurses, etc.). These people specialize in the study of the human body and other medical diagnosis. They are expected to uphold a certain standard on the quality of their performance. Medical personnel often go out of their way to give patients the best quality service possible; however, these “experts” make mistakes as well. These mistakes can be minor or major and some can be life threatening. In over the last couple of decades, accountability has been a big issue. Should doctors be accountable for their mistakes or should they be pardoned? Study shows that Doctors are not improving their skills because there is no visible punishment for them; also, there are no expectations set upon some medical personnel. In result, medical personnel will give the minimum quality service possible. The patient to Doctor relationship is not established and this creates a tough environment for the patient. As a patient, we want to be as comfortable as possible and trust our doctor to give us the best care. However, the trusts in doctors have diminished greatly because of the mistakes and minimum effort the doctors put in. If doctors are accountable for their mistakes, the quality of their performance will rise and the amount of mistakes they make would be less.
Medical errors are still an issue in today’s society, even if it was addressed in 1999 by the Institute of Medicine. About a million people or more die from medical errors a year, and there is no way to tell if these medical errors decreased in the last 15 years or not. This is the result of agencies not tracking the errors the hospitals and doctor offices make.
There are several ways medical error can decrease. One way is to implement leadership within each group and get physicians to be involved in various duties in the clinic. There should be an organized workspace for the physicians and leaders should give them jobs that enhance the physician’s skills. A basic class about safety would help physicians know what is the right procedure and what is the wrong one. Hospitals should spend more money on technology and other tools to enhance the knowledge of safety. This will prevent any mistakes if the physicians learned them.
A mandatory reporting system should be established in hospitals and doctor offices. This system will let physicians and the government keep track of the physician mistakes the physicians made. The hospitals should report any injuries or any errors in checkups to the government as soon as possible. This leaves room for the hospital to fix the problem or make sure the physician knows what they did wrong. The system will let the physician know that they are being monitored and expected to perform well.
Physicians should be held to a certain standard that they need to uphold. These standards will give the physician room to improve and try their hardest in treating patients. Without these guidelines and expectations, the physician would not try their hardest. The minimum amount of effort would be put forth. Physicians will not go above and beyond for their patients. If there is no expectation, the medical personnel would put in the least amount of effort to get the job done. They will try to finish faster in order to leave. However, the consequence of this involves many mistakes to patients that can be minor or even deadly.
Safety systems should be placed in health organizations in order to practice on treating a patient safely and effectively. This also helps with creating a safe environment for both the patient and the medical personnel. Physicians will learn how to deal with dangerous situations and how to stay calm during mistakes during treatment and surgeries. The safety system will also allow physicians to judge which treatment would be the safest for the patient.
Physicians should be accountable for their mistakes because it will create a safer environment for the patient; also, so physician will slowly learn and progress throughout their career. However, some people do not think that physicians should be accountable for their mistakes. Doctors are people who help treat other people in need. They are trained several years to make the right diagnosis and treat patients. It also takes a very long amount of time for people to become doctors and with that comes stress. Years of handwork are being put into becoming a doctor; in result, when the doctors make a mistake, they feel guilty and make several apologies. Doctors trained for many years and they make mistakes. However, no disciplinary action is being enforced. This leaves room for more mistakes if they are not addressed. Doctors will get used to the minimum effort they put into treating the patient.
There are extreme circumstances where doctors make mistakes. Nurses would change in the middle of surgery so it would become confusing. Some nurses do not understand what is going on which puts more pressure on the Doctors. Also the Nurse that diagnosed the patient would not be present during the surgery so now the Doctor does not know what exactly was the diagnosis. In the hospital, sometimes surgeons and doctors are behind schedule, which makes things more complicated and stressful for them. A few mistakes are bound to happen. This claim supports the idea that doctors should not be accountable for their mistakes. The doctors and nurses should be accountable for their mistakes because they are supposed to give each other all the information about the patient and the procedure getting done. If a nurse switches off, they need to tell the other nurses that come in all the details about the patient. Doctors should double check if they are operating on the right person or even the right operation sight. If the doctor is stressed, then they should take a break or call in for a replacement. Doctor mistakes can be prevented if there was proper communication.
When doctors make mistakes, patients tend to be upset however they would forgive the doctors. However, the patient will slowly lose their trust in the physician if they make the same mistake five or six times. Patient-physician is an important aspect of the medical field.
I really do believe that most doctors, nurses and administrators are good , but it takes hard work and a lot of time to improve patient safety. We need to figure out what milieu will allow people to focus on safety and quality in the way that they need to. And I don’t see how we can get to that stage if people don’t have the appropriate level of concern. (Nytimes)
Physicians want their patients to be safe throughout the checkup or surgery; however, not a lot of physicians show the same amount of concern to patients. All physicians should get the same treatment (no favorites). This means all physicians need to have this bond with patients to ensure a comfortable visit. Patient trust and loyalty is the number one priority in hospitals. All physicians/ medical personnel should go out of their way to create a safe and comfortable environment for the patient.
Doctor accountability is important in improving health care as a whole. The quality service would be much better than it is now. Patients would be treated with respect and offered the best service possible. Medical personnel want to make the connection with patients, however, that is impossible if physicians cannot learn from their mistakes.
Accountability is a big deal because if physicians are not accountable for their mistakes, who is? The costs of these physician mistakes are detrimental to the hospital. A single mistake can cause the hospital millions of dollars; whether it is faulty equipment or a lawsuit. Hospitals should be accountable in replacing faulty equipment. If there is something wrong with equipment, the patient might get diagnosed with cancer or another terrible disease when the patient does not have it. The patient will pay large amounts of medical bills when it was not needed.
Without accountability, mistakes are still going to happen. Physicians should be monitored and kept at a certain standard at all times. This prevents future mistakes from happening. Physicians also learn from these mistakes and they will not make the same mistakes to a future patient. The medical personnel are now all aware of what mistakes were common throughout the medical field and try to avoid making the same mistakes. Doctors should be treated equally to create a better work environment. All the doctors should be held at the same expectation to create a hard working team. Accountability creates a work environment where everyone tries their hardest and not the minimum. The physician-patient relationship will be stronger than ever. In result of mistakes decreased, the number of patients dying each year due to small mistakes will soon decrease.
“When Doctors Feel Pain After a Medical Mistake.” Top Stories RSS. 25 Jan. 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.
“Invitation to a Dialogue: When Doctors Slip Up.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/opinion/invitation-to-a-dialogue-when-doctors-slip-up.html?_r=0>.
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“TO ERR IS HUMAN: BUILDING A SAFER HEALTH SYSTEM.” Web. 4 Dec. 2015.