Medical Errors: The Third Leading Cause Of Deaths


What are the most common medical errors that hamper the diagnosis of disease? Reasons? How is technology helping to fill this gap?

Medical errors can be caused due to many reasons, including communication problems, inadequate information flow, just to name a few. The global healthcare industry itself faces a nearly insurmountable set of problems that place immense pressure on institutions, physicians, employees, patients and communities, from aging populations and workforce shortages to rising prices.
As a consequence, with current tools and strategies, there is a greater demand for facilities and assistance which are not sustainable. To reduce the burden on an already fragile infrastructure, hospitals are increasingly turning to technology and automation. The implementation of clinical mobility helps hospitals around the world remove manual, error-prone procedures and replace them with digital solutions that enhance patient recognition accuracy, streamline procedures, improve patient care quality and increase overall visibility. By digitally capturing information, data can be transmitted in real-time to clinical staff, reducing and even eliminating errors, and delivering critical time savings.

According to a Harvard study, 5.2 million medical errors occur in India annually. What are its adverse impacts and how are these tackled?

Globally, one of the leading causes of death is medical errors. To note, a John Hopkins report claims that every year more than 250,000 people die from medical errors in the US, and it is the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.
Since medical errors are mainly the result of human errors, the right technologies, such as clinical mobility solutions, can be leveraged to resolve the challenges.
Some of these methods include:

  • Expanding the usage of mobile devices: Hospitals are already achieving efficiency benefits by equipping mobile devices with key staff. Zebra’s latest Hospital Vision Report found that 97 percent of nurses would use mobile devices at the bedside by 2022, which will help to instill greater patient confidence. The study also showed a rise in the number of medical fields that provide solutions for therapeutic versatility, including emergency room nurses, pharmacists, and laboratory technicians. Currently, the usage of mobile devices is expected to grow up to 40 per cent for all hospital workers. Rich applications, remote patient monitoring and artificial intelligence will enliven the daily work experience and empower clinicians with greater insights and information to treat patients.

  • Enriching personnel communications: 70 percent of medical errors are due to communication breakdowns, according to the Joint Commission. Hospitals can enhance staff coordination, make real-time access to medical records possible, and ensure quicker access to test results, to name only a few, by integrating clinical mobility within their organizations. Mobile devices allow nurses to spend more time at the bedside of the patient. As the primary advantage of clinical versatility for patient care, over 65 percent of nurse managers and IT executives cite increased coordination and collaboration.

  • Rising patient care: 72 percent of respondents cite enhanced patient care quality as a direct consequence of clinical mobility, according to the Hospital Vision report. In addition, 61 percent of hospitals surveyed registered a reduction in drug administration errors, and 52 percent reported reduced labeling errors in specimen selection, which had a positive effect on patient care.

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