Patient safety is the number one concern of any healthcare provider, yet the tools put in place to help guide clinicians in providing appropriate care are often hindering it. Whether it’s out-of-date or confusing workflows documented in electronic health record (EHR) systems or difficulty in using the systems themselves, the technology does not always contribute to better patient care. Process improvement and common sense must be applied to ensure quality of care.
I’ve read several articles on this topic recently — all published in March 2018 — that I think are worth sharing. Each points to the need for process, technology and critical thinking. The first, Medical staff lacked ‘critical thinking’ in accidental overdose, coroner finds, involves a patient who was given the wrong medication and died from a drug overdose six hours after knee surgery. Hospital staff missed more than 15 opportunities to spot the problem, according to the coroner’s report, which recommended changes to the hospital’s EHR to strengthen patient verification methods and modifications to hospital procedures for administering medication.