Solutions Help Prevent Medical Errors

 

A recent report by the Institute of Medicine estimates that as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die in the U.S.each year as the result of medical errors.  What is alarming is that more people die from medical errors than from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS.

One of the goals of the EMR (electronic medical Record) initiative is to help reduce such errors.  Government agencies, technology companies, and health care providers are working together to make the U.S.health care system safer for patients and the public.  Our employees at Iron Comet are committed to a continuous process of helping physician practices improve the safety of the care they deliver by offering them tools that get them closer to this goal.

Medical errors happen when something that was planned as part of medical care does not work out, or when the wrong plan was used in the first place.  They can occur anywhere in the health care system:

Hospitals

Clinics

Doctors Offices

Nursing Homes

Pharmacies

 

Errors can involve:

Medicines

Surgery

Diagnosis

Equipment

Lab Reports

Many errors result from problems created when doctors and patients have problems communicating.  A recent study by the Agency for Healthcare and Quality (AHRQ) found that doctors often do not do enough to help their patients make informed decisions.  Uninvolved and uninformed patients are less likely to accept the doctors choice of treatment and less likely to do what they need to do to make the treatment work.

One way to prevent errors is to have ways to better communicate with the patient and get a full overview of his problems and medications.  This can be achieved with EMRs through the patient portal when a patient can take his or her time in describing his past medical history and remember all the medications that have been prescribed.  Being able to communicate through a safe, encrypted portal is essential to preventing mistakes that can commonly happen in a busy medical practice.

Maintaining electronic records and being able to access them quickly and efficiently has helped prevent errors also.  Through these innovative systems like Mckesson’s Medisoft Clinical EMR, entering and accessing  records are easier than ever before.  Harnessing the strength of these application modules automatically turn the data collected into powerful information that can enhance patient care, boost productivity and enable your practice to act swiftly to correct issues with patients.

Clinical decision support is available in the EMR.  This will be the standard for the medical world in the future.  These products provide patient specific alerts and referential content to support sound treatment decision in areas such as drug interaction checking (drug-drug and drug-food), drug allergy checking, and therapeutic duplication checking.  Using these tools will never eliminate errors but they will certainly limit them.

 

Iron Comet Consulting is a Mckesson Platinum certified reseller, medical IT firm and medical billing service based in Stockbridge, Georgia. Our products combine the clinical with the financial to improve workflow and revenue capture. Mckesson’s Medisoft Clinical is a complete physician practice optimization solution. For more information, please visit http://www.ironcomet.com/

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