Prevention of Medical Errors Course
About This Course
Prevention of Medical Errors
Please read the following module and complete the test. This module meets the Florida Board of Nursing criteria for continuing education credits. For all other disciplines, please review the objectives to ensure they meet the requirements for specific certification and licensure requirements.
At the completion of this course the student will be able to:
- identify factors that impact the occurrence of medical errors.
- recognize error-prone situations.
- identify processes and strategies used to prevent medical errors and improve patient outcomes.
- discuss effects of medical errors on healthcare providers and responsibilities for reporting medical errors.
- discuss safety concerns for special populations.
- discuss aspects of public education in reporting medical errors.
Most medical errors are preventable and unfortunately, have adverse effects on patient care, sometimes leading to harm and or death. Medical errors emerge due to a variety of factors stemming from system-based design flaws and human behavior; all of which can be improved. Not only do medical errors potentially cause harm (or death) to patients, they also contribute to an increase in health care costs, financial and legal liabilities to institutions, agencies and health care practitioners. Harm to any patient is unacceptable, yet statistics revealed by the Institute of Medicine (1) find between 44,000 and 98,000 patients are dying each year from preventable medical errors and approximately 400,000 hospitalized patients each year experience some type of preventable harm (2). Adverse medical error events unfortunately occur much too often in hospitalized patients. These errors most often result from a failure in the system rather than individual failure. According to The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals (3), there are multiple factors that influence medical errors and they emerge, ranging from human performance to equipment failure. The healthcare environment poses many potential risks for both staff and patients. Health care system processes must be carefully evaluated in order to foster a culture of diligence in search of safe patient care practices. It will take a commitment from leadership and policy makers to institute changes and implement an ongoing support to create a working environment where medical errors can be greatly diminished.