Medical errors have recently become one of the most significant and global problems for modern world since they are among the most common reasons of peoples deaths. Furthermore, sometimes, doctors offer to their patients various medications that do not bring the expected effects on the patients health. On the contrary, they can harm it. At the same time, every year, a great variety of new medications and methods of treatment against myriads of diseases is introduced to the market, but they should be tested before used by patients. Nevertheless, the people, who firstly test some medications, are in the greatest danger because they do not know possible outcomes. As a result, numerous medical errors affect the health of people negatively; therefore, everything possible should be done to reduce the probability of these errors.
Firstly, various medications are offered by healthcare organizations all over the world. Nevertheless, the risk of permanent increase in the use of medication has significantly risen over the last few years. Furthermore, one of the most important reasons of medical errors is prescription of various medications to the ageing population that constantly requires new medications and treatments. Moreover, these issues are especially actual while considering primary care questions since a great number of medical errors appears at the stage of primary care. However, the majority of literature and blogs about medicine considers errors that are related to hospital settings, which highlights that the risks connected with primary care drastically differ from those in hospital settings. Finally, a great number of causes of medical errors is connected with use, monitoring, education, administration, distribution, dispensing, compounding, nomenclature, packaging, product labeling, order communication, and prescribing of medications.
A medical error can be defined as a decrease of efficiency and speed of the process of treatment and the increase of risks of harm, connected with medications as compared with common practice. The classification of medical errors divides them into errors, according to the order of use of medications, and those, caused by the human factor. The first method considers various steps of the use of medications such as monitoring, administration, dispensing, transcribing, and prescribing. On the contrary, there is classification of errors by their reasons such as patient, administration, frequency, dose, and wrong medication. The last way to define errors is whether an error has occurred during the planning of treatment or during the process of the application of this treatment. The error during diagnosing is the most common type of medical mistakes since 59% respondents say that they have been treated incorrectly due to an inappropriate or late diagnosis. Furthermore, approximately 34% of errors were made in a health centers or clinics, while only 14% – in the departments of ambulance. Hence, medical errors should be classified thoroughly in order to develop specific methods of dealing with them.
Secondly, a medical error is one of the most significant reasons that contribute to the permanent increase of deaths among patients. For example, a recent analysis has revealed that approximately 250,000 of the US citizens deaths are registered per a year. Furthermore, a thorough analysis of all cases of death has showed that there are almost 700,000 of deaths per a year, which proves the fact that a third of them is caused by medical errors. At the same time, the surveys, held for more than 15 years, state that medical errors are 9.5% of all death cases in the USA, and only cancer and heart diseases are deadlier. Nevertheless, scientists say that only 0.5% of people with incurable diseases are able to live longer and they will die in 3 months, while 5% of deaths can be reduced to 2.5%, according to the research of 2012. As a result, the percentage of deaths in the cases of medical errors is rather significant even in such a developed country as the USA.
Finally, numerous examples show how people respond to the different errors during their treatment. For example, approximately half of victims of an error reported about it to the healthcare service staff or the administration. At the same time, approximately 32% of respondents told that they had been informed about the error by a healthcare provider, 31% of respondents reported about it by themselves, and only 10% had errors reported on their behalf. Moreover, the most common reason for the report about an error was its elimination according to other people, which was confirmed by 76% respondents, while 56% stated that they had wanted to overcome the problems caused by this error. Furthermore, people usually do not report about an error since they think that it will not help them deal with problems. For instance, 56% respondents said that they had not expected that reporting an error would have a positive outcome, 10% did not know how to report about it, and 24% told that there was no harm for them, so they did not report. As a result, most respondents help medical workers to avoid the same mistakes in the future.
In conclusion, a medical error is the most important issue that is closely connected with health conditions of people from different parts of the worlds since it causes a great number of deaths each year. Unfortunately, many people have already experienced the consequences of medical errors since they have caused them suffering. Moreover, many untested medicaments and methods of treatment cause a great number of health problems. At the same time, those who are the first to use some medications risk developing serious problems with health. Finally, medical errors are among the most influential reasons of harm, caused to the health of different people, and various effective actions should be taken to get rid of this issue.