Health care is a stressful and intrinsically risk-laden practice. Add to this the reality that all human beings are vulnerable to error and it’s inevitable that mistakes will be made. In 2012, there were 107 serious medical errors in Australian hospitals, ranging from surgery on the wrong patient or body part, and medication errors, to deaths or serious injuries associated with giving birth, and in-hospital suicides.
There’s no underestimating the effect of each of these mistakes – disability or death, and terrible loss for the families involved.
But system wide, there is some positive news. While there are annual variations in the number of serious errors, overall, serious adverse events decreased by 10% in the five years to 2012. Of the 53 million patient interactions nationwide each year the chance of a serious medical error occurring is incredibly low, at 0.000201%.
So, what have been the drivers of reform? And what progress is yet to be made in reducing medical errors?
Read more at The Conversation
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