How to build a safer health system? Essay

How to build a safer health system?, 506 words essay example

Essay Topic: how to, health

In the first report issued by Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee, "To Err is Human Building a Safer Health System" (1999), medical errors are being described as preventable adverse effect of incomplete planned action or the application of wrong plan to reach a goal. Preventable medical errors have led to unnecessary costs to the organizations itself, patients, health professionals, and society due to decentralized and disintegrate of health care delivery system, limited of prevention and effort to minimize medical errors, and lack of financial incentive from third-party purchasers. Thus, IOM Committee proposes inclusive approach to reduce preventable medical errors by balancing between regulatory and market-based initiatives, and between the roles of professionals and organizations. The first approach to build a safer health system is to adopt a national focus for creating leadership, research, tools, and protocols to strengthen knowledge base about safety. This approach can be accomplished by establishing Center for Patient Safety intended to identify, develop, monitor, evaluate, educate and recommend appropriate safety systems. The Center must have adequate and secure funding and house under the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) which has broad experiences in quality and safety issues, fund, research, and education. The second approach is to create mandatory reporting system and voluntary reporting system. Standardized information about adverse medical events that lead to deaths and serious harm is to be collected by state governments which then are used for further action. While, voluntary reporting system focus on broader set of errors, detect the system weaknesses and provide information richness to health care provider. However, laws must be executed to shield the confidentiality of information collected, and to avoid providers from being subpoenaed and used in lawsuits because of the provided information. The third approach for a safer health system is to enhance performance standards and expectations form safety improvements. It can be performed by defining minimum performance levels for health professionals in the environment they work, the roles played by the professional societies to encourage improvements in patient safety, and prioritize safety in contracting decisions by the public and private purchasers. Finally, the approach to achieve a safer health system is by executing safety systems in healthcare organizations to guarantee safe practice at delivery level. The organizations should adopt a "culture of safety" and incorporating safety principles in their environment. An adequately funded system also has to be developed to monitor patient safety. The patients themselves could anticipate by having sufficient health literacy about the medication they consume to reduce medication errors. Therefore, as response to the IOM Committee report, many actions were taken by the government to implement techniques that reduce medical errors. Other parties also make a move by gathering leaders from executive and legislative branches and having a joint meeting participated by professional groups to address the issues regarding patient safety, and the revealing of market-based strategy by private sector for safety and quality improvement. To conclude, medical errors can be reduced by developing a safer health system with adequate leadership, attention, and resources.

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