Human Error Theory in Health Care

Topics: Health care, Medicine, Healthcare Pages: 5 (1883 words) Published: November 17, 2012
Patient safety is a basic standard of health care. Every step in health care service contains intrinsic unsafe factors .The combination among newest technologies, health innovations and treatments have introduced a synergistic development in health care industry, and transformed it into more complex field. This rise health safety risks which may result from problems in practice, procedures and medicine etc .This Essay will discuss the relationship between human factors and patient safety. Definitions

“Patient safety is the reduction of unnecessary harm associated with healthcares to acceptable minimum “(Runciman ,Hibbert , Thomson , Der Schaaf , Sherman ,Lewalle , 2009) Human error in health care can be observed by two different methods: “the person approach and the system approach”, each model has own perspectives .Understanding these differences has a significant practical outcomes in healthcare industry and open sights for management of medical error (Reason, 2000). The person approach stress on the hazardous act and procedural deviations of nurses, physicians, pharmacists. It analyses these risky acts as resulting mainly from deviant mental functions such as lack of memory & concentration , poor enthusiasm , carelessness, , and recklessness(Reason, 2000) .The associated preventive measures are intended mainly at decreasing risky inconsistency in human performance (Reason, 2000) . Whereas the system approach insight human errors as consequences rather than causes, thus it relays the reasons for error occurrence on failure of organizational system (Reason, 2000). Countermeasures are established on the theory that although “we cannot change the human condition, we can adjust the circumstances under which humans work” (Reason, 2000). Human error Theory

Patients always expect miraculous solutions to each problem. In such expectations people who receive medical services tend to believe that no mistakes can happen. It is actually not so, and it is seen that there are instances where the medical errors can occur at any stage (Moyen, Camrie, Stelfox, 2008). They can take place if the healthcare provider chooses an inappropriate method of diagnosing the problem. There is another scope for medical error if the execution part goes wrong, even after choosing the correct method. Therefore, such medical errors are only referred to as the human errors in the area of health science (Moyen , Camrie ,Stelfox ,2008 ) . The importance of this issue can be seen according to the report provided by the American Institute of Medicine. It stated that US Hospitals been have astonishing as there had been deaths which were be ‘avoidable’. Some cases were the medical staff inconvenient, and others were seen that the poor system was actually beyond the failure. The possible flaws in the system are there like the poor communication, between the medical team and between them and the patients; also the reporting system of the hospital suffers from the lack of the coordination in the hospital system (Taxis & Barber, 2003). .

This subject can be better understood with relation to the existing human error theory which consider errors are opportunities for improvement and it interestingly highlight the concept of error, the same issue was adhered by literary thinker and philosopher Francis Bacon(1620), that human mind has always thought of the ‘over-generalisations’ which means that the human mind always have that over-confident element of remembering things. This thought itself gives rise to error, because it all of being thoroughly perfect which is not possible. The theory stands widely accepted by the British Department of Health, they have moved away from solely blaming the individuals, towards accepting the fact that error is something inevitable ( Runciman ,Hibbert , Thomson , Der Schaaf , Sherman ,Lewalle , 2009) Various literary scholars, scientists and the psychologist have pointed out the fact that...

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Runciman, W., Hibbert,P., Thomson, R., Schaaf, T.V.D., Sherman, H., & Lewalle, P. (2009). Towards an international classification for patient safety: key concepts and terms. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 21(1).18-26.
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