Fieldprofessor of law and health care management at Drexel University, who is also a lecturer at Wharton. Here are the key points from their conversation. Listen to the podcast at the top of this page.
One possible approach to decreasing the number of preventable adverse events is to improve technology so that healthcare professionals can better carry out their daily activities. Recent advances include the use of bar codes in administering medications, software to help in decision making and radio-frequency tags on sponges to ensure they are not left inside the Healthcare issues during surgery.
The disadvantage with this approach is that when a new technology is introduced, users have to go through a learning process and may find it difficult to adapt to the new technology.
Furthermore, the availability of such technologies does not mean that vigilance can be lowered. In the case of the bar code system for administering medications, the nurse is still responsible for what Healthcare issues is ultimately administered to the patient.
And if an error was made at the beginning of the process, the bar code system will not prevent an adverse event. Can technology resolve all of the problems that cause high rates of adverse events? In fact, different solutions may be needed depending on the origin of the problem. Some institutions have implemented programs that address the problem at the organizational level.
This checklist is a useful tool for confirming the identity of the patient, the procedure to be performed and the issues to be considered during the surgery.
In this case, changing attitudes and communication procedures can reduce the number of preventable adverse events. And this raises the important question: Which is more efficient — using costly high technology that may require a difficult adaptation process for its users, or using low-cost innovations such as checklists?
Patients are concerned about adverse events for they are the ones directly affected. When they have been harmed, they often feel entitled to some form of compensation. However, healthcare professionals and institutions are usually protected by law under such circumstances.
It is a long, hard battle for a patient to receive compensation, and a decision in their favour is far from certain.
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So when the adverse event is the result of an institutional problem, where should a patient turn for compensation or reparation? Would a government no-fault compensation system be helpful? Another issue of concern is what patients say is a lack of recognition and apology from the healthcare institution when they suffer an adverse event, and the lack of information they receive when an unexpected event happens.
Why are institutions so reluctant to inform patients and their families?
Would this not be the best first step to improving the situation?Ethical Issues in Healthcare - Buzzle. Tired of media reports of fundraising and poll results instead of policy issues? At benjaminpohle.com, you can see the view of every candidate on every issue.
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