Medical Errors: Exploring the Healthcare System's Role in Errors Essay

Medical Errors: Exploring the Healthcare System's Role in Errors Essay

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Critical Analysis
Paradigm Shift
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) which has been on the forefront in undertaking research studies, pertaining to the prevalence of medical errors; systemic flaws are largely to be blamed for the high number of medical errors (BMJ Publishing Group Ltd 2011). The Hastings centre also shares the same sentiments when they state that “Many errors can be traced to flaws in complex systems of healthcare delivery, not flaws in individual performance” (The Hastings centre 2011, 5). These revelations come amid increased blame on healthcare workers for their apparent neglect of safe healthcare practices. IOM gives an example of poor communication between healthcare providers as one of the main problems associated with systemic flaws which consequently lead to medical errors. Because of this reason, the institute claims that focusing less on individuals and more on systems is likely to reduce the prevalence of medical errors.
This is one method through which people can bestow their trust again on the healthcare system and it is also a platform through which subsequent reforms can be done. One of such reforms is the importance of accountability when handling medical errors. The element of accountability deals in the restructuring of responsibility for medical mistakes and shifts the blame from individuals to rules, procedures and policies (The Hastings centre 2011). This therefore means that justice will be achieved for the injured people and statistics obtained from the process can also be utilized to further improve the system (in prevention of future errors). The entire essence of changing or reinforcing accountability standards is aimed at replacing existing health rules, procedures and poli...

... middle of paper ... eliminate healthcare system--based errors through centralized records and other streamlining methods to improve processes. In doing so, it seems likely that our patients will gain confidence in us and our ability to help them navigate a complex and confusing system" (Science Daily 2007, 17)
Designing an efficient safety healthcare system will change the paradigm through which medical error occurrence is perceived from. It is also ethically correct to adopt this system because it is the fair way through which medical errors should be tackled. In other words, this study establishes that system flaws are the biggest cause of medical errors and therefore, it is unfair to place all the blame on healthcare personnel. These factors abound, this study proposes a shift in the contextual analysis of medical errors from the individual to the systems involved.

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