Patient Safety

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Patient Safety at Grand River Hospital & St. Mary’s General Hospital Most patients would like to think that safety is a major priority at the hospital they are visiting. They would like to believe that the hospital actively engages in practices that should nearly diminish any possibility for an accident or mistake to occur. However, the premise of patient safety is relatively new. Medical errors remain a sensitive topic with patients, physicians, and hospital administrators. Physicians and other medical personnel are very reluctant to communicate information about any form of medical error. They feel that admitting to any sort of wrongdoing will have negative effects with peers and may open up the potential for legal action. The medical community does realize that medical errors are an inevitable aspect of practicing medicine. After all, “To err is human,” and humans are preforming the work. Over the last two decades patient safety has been a growing concern. Large studies were conducted in order to determine the extent to which medical errors occur. The studies found that ten percent of medical errors that occur result in patient harm. These errors are considered preventable errors, not a mishap that occurred due to an underlying condition. The same study determined that approximately 98,000 American patients die each year because due medical errors, making medical errors the eighth leading cause of death in the United States. Even though medical errors have been a hot topic of discussion and have led to the formation of organizations, such as the National Patient Safety Foundation, a significant gap exists between the quality of care that is being administered and the quality of care that should be administered. In 1999 the Institute of Medicine determined that medical errors are organizational errors rather than errors made due to lack of the individual responsibility of physicians and/or other medical providers. The Institute of Medicine...
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