Medical Errors Report #24

A Four-Year Solution Implementation Study

Hospitals Must Be More Proactive in Quality Improvement Rather than Colorful Slogans

Based on the experience of working in this industry for many years, I have observed that the health-care industry loves to use the term “proactive,” but in reality, our behavior is usually the opposite. We wait until disaster strikes before we act. When disaster strikes, many people die. Reducing medical errors needs a continuous strategy of prevention consisting of a continuous evaluation of the process, the process-lines and the interconnections of process-lines with other hospital departments. We should respond proactively to prevent errors from occurring instead of engaging in crisis-response intervention after the effect.

 Expect Mass Casualties on Doomsday if Preparedness Remains the Same

Many hospitals have not been drilled to prepare for bioterrorism or chemical attack. Contrary to the claim that the community is ready for a national medical emergency, evidence indicates that any large-scale bioterrorism attack would lead to a disaster of unimaginable proportion. Action on paper is not as important as regular drills by the frontline health-care workers who are going to be responding first-hand to the victims. What will be the role of the nurses, physicians, lab techs, pharmacists, and so on during a national disaster? How will they be quickly deployed from one city to another? Who will take care of the patients left behind by the responding health-care workers? How will these health-care workers be protected before entering the location of the disaster? How will the victims in a particular location be evacuated? How can the evacuation of a big city be done without chaos? These are some of the unanswered questions, and the number of deaths due to a mass attack will increase in proportion to lack of preparedness.