Surgical errors can be reduced with a simple checklist


A U.S. Veterans Administration study showed that using a checklist and having simple, open communication among doctors, nurses, and the patient dramatically reduced surgical deaths.

October 20, 2010

Unfortunately many hospitals, nurses and physicians have poor communication practices. Time and time again studies have shown that poor communications increase medical errors and patient deaths. In my cases I frequently see instances where doctors give orders, hospital nursing or technical staff do not complete the orders, and doctors do not check back for the results. Without appropriate 'hand off' communications (as required by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) or follow-up by a physician, quite often the patient suffers harm. Other times I see nurses and technical staff who do not speak up, as they should, when they see something that compromises patient safety. A new study out of the U.S. Veterans Administration shows that training health care providers on patient safety and communication will lowers the surgical death rate. Responsible hospitals need to take the lead to ensure that their medical staff, nurses, and technicians are trained to communicate, and recognize and act upon patient safety issues. We need to see a culture of quality health care where patient safety is the first priority. Patients and family members can be a part of good communication by asking questions and speaking up to receive the healthcare attention they need. [B]Resources[/B] [URL=""][/URL]

Robert Painter

Robert Painter is an attorney and member of Painter Law Firm PLLC.


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