An investigation reveals alarming reports of patient deaths and serious injuries tied to software glitches and user errors in record-keeping systems across the country.
We have a long way to go in assessing -- and addressing -- the safety and efficacy of electronic medical records.
If you or a loved one has ever been seriously injured or ill, you probably understand how important it is to have a doctor
Nightmare stories of nurses giving potent drugs meant for one patient to another and surgeons removing the wrong body parts
Patient empowerment is a crucial part of the solution.
Now is the time for medical communities everywhere to examine existing processes critically, pursue thoughtful advances in how we deliver care, and promote a culture that engages staff in the improvement process. Taking care of patients is not only about the therapies we provide but also having the most effective care delivery systems possible. By that metric, American health care still has significant room to grow.
Medical error prevention is a work in progress. We should be impatient with the pace of progress, as Doroshaw is, because it means that patients are daily suffering avoidable harm. But we should also seek to understand the reasons why the pace isn't faster.
While caring for Ms. A overnight, I made the incorrect decision to administer a cardiac medication to treat her disease that is known to increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. Committing and dealing with a medical error is one of the more humbling experiences in the field of medicine.
Hospitals have recognized these medical errors as a significant problem, and they are taking steps -- such as hand hygiene compliance and surgical checklists -- to make care safer. But if you or your loved one needs medical care now, be on the lookout for these errors.
Mistakes in health care are much more complex. Most errors result from multifaceted problems such as poor communication, inadequate staffing of nurses, or records and charting that is not up to date with technology. The answer is for each person as a consumer to take responsibility for his or her own health.
Brian Goldman makes an impassioned personal case for changing the culture of medicine by admitting errors of judgment. I think that the most important step in making that change is recognizing the relationship between physician and patient for what it really is: a partnership.
There is a macabre joke about the blindness of modern medicine's reductionistic erudition, and you have likely heard it: "The operation was a great success. Unfortunately, the patient died." That would be a whole lot funnier if it weren't so close to a perilous truth.
Right now, few hospitals are in full compliance with the new standards. "Most are not even close," according to Jonathan