The Joint Commission, which provides accreditation of health care organizations, issued a mandate requiring surgical/procedure teams to have a time-out prior to beginning an operation to prevent wrong site surgery. Yet, time-outs are always taken and surgical errors continue to occur.
What’s more disturbing is that a study was done prior to the time-out procedures and found at least 1 person in the operating room knew that surgery was being performed on the wrong site but was too afraid to say anything.
To me, this is unacceptable! Nurses and other health care providers need to be free to speak their mind to avoid such incidences as this.
In addition, in 2016, a study was published in the British Medical Journal reporting that the third most frequent cause of death in the United States, surpassed by only heart disease and cancer, was preventable medical errors. People do not go into the health care system as a patient to die.
There are 250,000 unnecessary deaths each year, which does not include the number of preventable medical errors where only injury occurs. None of us became health care providers to cause injury. Something is broken in our health care system that needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, given the concerns of our health care system, medical institutions are not willing to pay money for a workable solution. More staff certainly would help as well as better procedures in place and systems to prevent problems.
Health care is a high-risk business, yet so are nuclear power plants and airplane travel. Yet, neither of those other industries have the number of deaths that happen in the hospital. Why is this? And what can we do about this?
I am sure that all of us went in the profession to help people but, ironically, right now, we are helping in actually causing death.
What do we do?
What if we stand together and say that we are not willing to put our patients lives on the line and we need to find solutions to resolve this crisis.
What are your thoughts to resolving this issue? I would love to hear your comments below.