Considering the issue of diagnosis errors, we can identify two main stakeholders related to the situation. As mentioned by Flanagan (2016), the patient plays a central role in eliminating diagnosis mistakes. At this point, it is critical to note that the hospital could not be a perfectly safe environment that guarantees full recovery (Balogh, 2015). Therefore, patients should put all efforts and commitment to protect themselves regardless of hospital measures. In this situation, Flanagan (2016) suggests having a family member as a representative or advocate regulating the process and updating the medical list. Cooperation between the patient and medical personnel could significantly reduce future errors. Another measure that will help reduce the number of medical errors is the participation and involvement of the community. The community could be an important component in eliminating medical errors as it facilitates protection both for patients and medical workers. As highlighted by Flanagan (2016), the issue of the given scales requires the involvement and collaboration of all parties.
Medication errors require complex investigation and prevention measures that require the involvement of various departments. Moreover, this issue could require different organizational, medical, and human resources needed to navigate the situation. Balogh (2015) claims that help should be directed to discuss the patient’s issue, educate personnel, and obtain necessary medical equipment. The cost of the changes could vary according to the scale of the problem identified by the hospital. Nevertheless, relying on the statistics provided by Ely and Graber (2016), the budget implemented to change are proportional to the damage of medical errors.
Hospitals could create an individual strategy to avoid diagnosis errors. These strategies and action plans could vary depending on the specialization and features of the hospital. The action plan that could prevent diagnosis errors are the following:
- During the patient investigation, it is needed to consider different possibilities and diagnoses according to symptoms (Ely and Graber, 2016).
- The patient’s past diagnosis should be revised (Ely and Graber, 2016).
- The connection between the last and present diagnosis should be identified (Ely and Graber, 2016).
- If the patient is capable of describing his state, all necessary information should be taken into consideration. Otherwise, a family member or other person who is aware of the patient’s current situation should provide information (Balogh, 2015).
- If the diagnosis is unclear, additional tests will eliminate extra options or justify the assumption (Balogh, 2015).
These steps could significantly improve the reliability of diagnosis by directing healthcare workers in emergencies. Talking about time scale, the course of action depends on the patient’s state. For acute patients, time is quite limited; therefore, the steps should be covered as soon as possible. While for patients with chronic diseases but relatively satisfactory states, the process could take a longer time. Generally, diagnosis time should not exceed one day (Flanagan, 2016). Steps starting from the initial patient diagnosis and medical history revision should take three to five hours, depending on the patient’s wellbeing. Moreover, it is essential to develop plans for emergency cases as well. The introduced strategy could be implemented in the general medical field regardless of the specialization of the medical organization and the patient’s diagnosis. Nevertheless, it would be beneficial to identify the specific details that could lessen the scale of the error. Additionally, the certain time needed for the patient should be determined.
Balogh, E. P. (2015). The path to improve diagnosis and reduce diagnostic error. Improving Diagnosis in Health Care. Web.
Ely, J. W., & Graber, M. L. (2016). Preventing diagnostic errors in primary care. American Family Physician. Web.
Flanagan, N. (2016). Spotlight on medical errors evokes stakeholders’ involvement. Healthcare Dive. Web.