Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Now That's Transparency

Every now and then a news source reports about a new study showing an increase in medical errors. Unfortunately this problem has a very long history. I don't think many hospitals are keen about publicizing their mistakes. Years ago hospital mistakes were blamed on nursing staff  even though others may have contributed to the problem. Working in the OR it was common knowledge that any foreign body left behind would result in the firing of both the circulator and scrub nurse

I was very careful and very lucky to have never been involved in a foreign body case. There was a case in which a sponge was left behind and the matter was quickly hushed up. The patient was told that a second surgery was necessary to tidy things up. Back in the day patients asked few questions.

I stumbled on a hospital that is trying to change the way medical errors are handled. Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston is actually publishing medical errors and the corrective actions taken.  The blog is at BWHsafetymatters.org . It really brings new meaning to transparency. I was impressed.

The site really shows some eye-popping scenarios. The account of a nurse getting a TPN line mixed up could have had a really bad outcome. Luckily, the error was caught before serious damage ensued.

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