Telephone communications with physicians, pharmacists, medical staff, and patients can result in miscommunication and lead to treatment and prescription errors. Anna Reisman, MD, and Karen Brown, MD, point out in their Journal of General Internal Medicine article that telephone communication may be error-prone because of technical issues and an absence of visual cues.
A 36-year-old male patient presented at the emergency department in late July with complaints of fever, fatigue, mild rash, muscle pain, headache, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. Two weeks earlier, he had been camping in an area known for ticks. Continue reading
Miscommunication contributes to as much as 80 percent of medical errors, much of it occurring when care is transferred from one health care provider to another.1 In fact, in a 2006 survey of residents at Massachusetts General Hospital, 58.3 percent revealed that at least one patient was harmed in the course of their most recent rotation because of a problem with the handoffs. Even more troubling, 12.3 percent said that major harm occurred.2
At my clinic, we are using an integrated electronic health record, and many of us have achieved meaningful usage targets. While this success has been building, however, a critical element of documentation in the EHR has been given less attention than it deserves: discussion of clinical decision-making rationale. Continue reading
Cyber liability is a growing threat for medical practices. An Identity Theft Resource Center report indicated that from 2005 to April 2, 2014, there were 4,455 recorded data breaches of sensitive data and 626,327,451 total records exposed.1 Even more troubling for medical practices, a NetDiligence report on data breaches revealed that health care was the sector most frequently breached, making up 29.3% of the company’s survey of data breach claims.
Health care providers know that patient safety is a process that works best when patients and providers work together. In fact, a provider’s communication and engagement with patients remains a cornerstone of high-quality, safe care.
The goal for pathologists is to provide accurate and timely lab data to support clinical diagnoses and therapeutic decisions. When laboratory errors occur, the consequences can be misdiagnoses, unnecessary surgery or treatment, failure to receive needed surgery or treatment, wrong surgery or treatment, or a spread of blood-borne pathogens.
Prescription opioids are not the only controlled substance with a risk for abuse, misuse, and diversion, but they have a readily achievable threshold for lethal toxicity. They are the source of widespread patient-safety problems like addiction and overdose, excess resource utilization, and disability.