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Five Steps To Safer Medical Care

10/09/12

  04:12:54 pm, by MedBen5   , 298 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Five Steps To Safer Medical Care

Marty Makary, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, believes that doctors and hospitals should be held more accountable for their mistakes. In The Wall Street Journal, he lists five “relatively simple – but crucial – reforms” the health care system can make to bring such errors to light:

Online Dashboards. “Every hospital should have an online informational ‘dashboard’ that includes its rates for infection, readmission (what we call ‘bounce back), surgical complications and ‘never event’ errors (mistakes that should never occur, like leaving a surgical sponge inside a patient).”

Safety Culture Scores. ” …[M]y colleagues and I at Johns Hopkins […] administered an anonymous survey of doctors, nurses, technicians and other employees at 60 U.S. hospitals. We found that at one-third of them, most employees believed the teamwork was bad. These aren’t hospitals where you or I want to receive care or see our family members receive care. At other hospitals, by contrast, an impressive 99% of the staff reported good teamwork.”

Cameras. “Reviewing tapes of cardiac catheterizations, arthroscopic surgery and other procedures could be used for peer-based quality improvement. Video would also serve as a more substantive record for future doctors.”

Open Notes. “Harvard doctor-researchers Jan Walker and Tom Delbanco are using ‘open notes’ at Harvard and Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, and my hometown hospital, Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania, has begun giving patients online access to their doctors’ notes. So far, both patients and doctors love it.”

No More Gagging. “We need more open dialogue about medical mistakes, not less. It wouldn’t be going too far to suggest that these types of gag orders should be banned by law. They are utterly contrary to a patient’s right to know and to the concept of learning from our errors.”

Read Dr. Makary’s complete comments at the WSJ website.

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