When mistakes are made, people are fond of quoting the adage, “Well, nobody is perfect.” While that may be true, some mistakes can have dire consequences. Mistakes made by hospital staff rank among those with potentially lasting results. Doctors and nurses and support staff in hospitals are trained to do their best. They have reason to do all they can to avoid mistakes; errors can be costly, impacting finances and sometimes ending careers. Even so, hospital staff mistakes happen; some which could be avoided.
The hospital environment is one that requires staff to constantly be on their toes, alert and aware. New staff members not only have the stress of starting a new job, but their job also involves caring for the very lives of other human beings. Even seasoned staff can get stressed due to a variety of issues. Inattention can lead to errors, and one of the most common hospital staff mistakes occurs with medication. These mistakes can have dire consequences including death for some patients.
Examples of medication errors include passing the wrong medication or wrong dosage to a patient. 32% of medication errors come from administration mistakes. Reading prescriptions inaccurately can lead to medication errors, also. Hospital staff mistakes concerning medication may be minimized when staff double check to ensure that patients are getting their correct medication in the correct dosage.
The Infection Factor
There have been instances where people have died, not as a result of their presenting issue, but rather with an infection contracted from exposure within the hospital. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the number of deaths due to hospital infection is in the tens of thousands. They also make recommendations on how these numbers can be lowered.
The hospital staff mistakes in this area include a lack of adequate hygiene techniques, cleaning and disinfection issues, not practicing ideal aseptic techniques and not following the strategies for infection prevention. There may be certain emergency situations which arise, making adequate infection prevention difficult; however, routine implementation of best practices can make a big difference in the numbers of people who get infections while hospitalized.
Hospital Staff Mistakes in Documentation
Movies and television shows have been made about documentation errors from writing the wrong information to picking up the wrong chart or getting patients confused. While the fiction versions may be entertaining, the actual event could be deadly. There are many things which need documentation on a patient’s chart. Any missing information or misinformation can have serious consequences. For example, if a medication has been given but isn’t charted, the next nurse may inadvertently give the patient a second dose of the medication.
Hospital staff mistakes are going to happen. These are just a few of the more serious mistakes which can have a lasting impact on a patient’s life. It is up to hospital staff members to do all they can do to eliminate avoidable errors.
The attorneys at Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., are specialists in personal injury law. If you or a loved one has a personal injury case and need legal representation, contact us for a complimentary initial consultation. We have offices conveniently located in Englewood, Port Charlotte, and North Port to serve southwest Florida communities.