TEDMED Great Challenges: Eliminating Medical Errors
All humans make mistakes. Doctors and nurses are human; they make mistakes. All systems are imperfect. Medical professionals use systems.
- Errors by medical professionals and systems are inevitable. Unfortunately, they send 2.4 million patients to hospitals yearly and are directly linked to 200,000 annual fatalities.
Regardless of methods used to detect, prove and compensate for medical errors, how much better can we do in reducing or eliminating medical errors and what areas should we focus on to get the best improvements?Members of the Great Challenge Team, Eliminating Medical Errors, gathered on Google + Hangout to discuss the topic in a virtual roundtable event on January 10. Watch the video below.
- Every year an estimated 2.4 million medical errors occur that are associated with about 200 thousand deaths, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The health care professionals on this panel were most interested in who has the information or knows the best practices to reduce these numbers.“We tend to lump errors into a box, saying there is such a thing as infection or tumors or fracture. That is lovely, but we are never going to be able to address them unless we are able to understand them at a more granular level,” said Michael Victoroff of COPIC, Inc. “We need to begin to parch them out in terms of which are preventable, which are unavoidable, which are minor, major, which are intercepted, which have terrible consequences.” Victoroff suggested that health care professionals need to learn to separate the seriousness of the error from the seriousness of the effect.
- “Tremendous strides have been made but still need improvements,” said Paula Griswold of the MA Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors. “We are still introducing more complexity in the way care is delivered that creates new potential for error, more medications, more tools that are used and more organizations trying to work together.”
Research is being done to decrease errors, but the consensus is that there is still a long way to go.Twitter conversation around the #greatchallenges hashtag during the live Reducing Medical Errors event was lively.
- The dialogue about this issue extended well past our Google+ hangout. Over the past year, the conversation around Eliminating Medical Errors as one of TEDMED's 20 Great Challenges revolved around several key questions.
What are the top 10 contributing factors for the Great Challenge "Eliminating Medical Errors"?Many weighed in on the dialogue.
Our challenge team members weighed in on eliminating medical errors throughout the past year:
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