Simply Business

Reducing Risks of Medical Errors by Addressing Understaffing

medical staff standing in the hallway of a hospitalHealthcare and medical professionals continue to protect and save countless lives. Not only do they help restore and maintain people’s health; they also boost their patients’ quality of life. Through their training, knowledge, and skills, they address their patients’ healthcare needs while also giving them support and motivation.

However, this doesn’t automatically mean that they have completed all their cases. In fact, many of them have committed mistakes that didn’t benefit their patients, with some even having made the situation worse.

Medical errors: The shocking statistics

The prevalence of medical errors, whether intentional or accidental, have considerably spiked over the years, despite the continued innovations and improvements in healthcare technology. It has increased so drastically that it’s now one of the leading causes of death – third, to be more specific – in the country.

More than a quarter of a million fatalities that occur in the nation every year results from some form of medical error, making it more prevalent than other types of life-threatening conditions, such as stroke.

The reasons for their occurrence

There are many ways wherein medical errors can occur. A typical situation is when a healthcare professional breaches the standard of care, which means that he/she failed to provide the patient with service satisfying the medical standard. Misdiagnosis and negligence also fall under these errors.

It’s important to keep in mind that medical errors also happen due to the pressure placed on doctors and other medical professionals, especially in environments with traffic as heavy as emergency departments.

Minimizing the risks of such life-altering mistakes

No reputable doctor would want to put the lives of their patients at risk, but because of the lack of time and other staff members, the intense pressure can lead to them accidentally doing so. It’s for this reason such facilities should see the great value behind emergency department staffing services.

Medical errors can severely affect and alter the lives of not just the patients, but their family too. Addressing understaffing issues and ensuring adequate doctor-to-patient ratio plays a critical role in minimizing such risks.