5 ways to reduce medical errors

Michael Handler, MD, a hospital leader and expert in patient safety, outlined ways to enhance patient safety in his keynote presentation at the second annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day program at the UMKC School of Medicine on May 15.

Here are five ways to reduce medical errors:

1. Healthcare professionals must maintain a culture of safety that acknowledges the high-risk nature of the work. Dr. Handler emphasizes the pertinence of collaboration and avoiding blame.  

2. Dr. Handler distinguishes between a blame-free culture and a culture with accountability. Accountability is necessary for people to report errors without fear of retribution.

3. A strong leadership amongst physicians must exist no matter the position a healthcare professional holds.

4. Physicians must focus on diagnostic errors and the role it plays in relation to quality care.

5. Healthcare organizations must understand system errors to make adjustments to redesign the system.


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