Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dangerous Doctors

According to an article published in USA Today, the nation’s state medical boards continue to allow thousands of physicians to keep practicing medicine after findings of serious misconduct that can put patients at risk. 

Many doctors have been banded by hospitals and other medical facilities, but their medical licenses remain intact.

Research shows that even the worst misconduct goes unpunished; nearly 250 doctors were cited as an “immediate threat to health and safety,” but their licenses were never taken away.
By law, hospitals and other health care institutions are required to report to the National Practitioner Data Bank when doctors lose clinical privileges in connection with investigations of substandard care or misconduct. At the beginning of 2011, however, 47 percent of hospitals had never reported restricting or revoking a doctor’s clinical privileges.
Even though many doctors have had their medicine practicing privileges taken away, their state medical boards have unfortunately taken no action against their licenses to practice, allowing more patients to be put in danger.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Improving Patient Safety in the OR

According to a statement by the American Heart Association (AHA), hospitals can prevent medical errors during cardiac surgeries by training operating room staff on how to communicate with one another and work together as a team.
Communication failures are the most common cause of problems in hospitals and are oftentimes the root cause of medical errors, according to research that was published in AHA’s journal, Circulation.
These five strategies can ultimately strengthen communication and teamwork:
  • Use checklists and conduct postoperative debriefings during cardiac surgeries;
  • Train all members of the cardiac operative team on communication, leadership and situational awareness;
  • Set up formal handoff protocols during transfer of the care of cardiac surgical patients to new medical personnel;
  • Hold scenario training for significant and rare nonroutine events (i.e., emergency oxygenator change out); and
  • Conduct studies of teamwork and communication that consider optimal communication models, team-training models, impediments to implementation of formal training in teamwork and communication skills, long-term studies of the sustained impact of such training on provider outcomes, efficacy of formal training in teamwork and communication skills in improving patient outcomes, and set up an anonymous national multidisciplinary event-reporting system to obtain data about events.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Toy Recall

Details: Light-up toy frogs and ducks sold exclusively at Cost Plus World Market between July 2012 and December 2012. The frog comes in green and the ducks come in yellow, pink, and clear. There is a round tag attached to the product with the UPC number 2424 5159.

Why: The metal conductor pin on the bottom of the toys can come out, posing a choking hazard.

How many: About 30,000.

For more: Call Toysmith at (800) 356-0474 or visit www.toysmith.com and click on Safety on the left side of the page for more information.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Minimizing errors at the pharmacy

Prescription errors happen more than you might think. Medical providers are constantly multi-tasking, which can easily cause a medical mistake in terms of your prescription.  

When you are prescribed any kind of medication, be sure to ask what it is; know the name of it and write it down. After that: 

·         Ask the reasons why you are being prescribed the medication, unless it is obvious what it is for.

·         Ask about any potential side effects.

·         Ask what dosage you are to take and how often.

·         Ask how long you are supposed to be on the medication for.

Also, be sure to let your medical provider know what other medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter medicines. Many drugs can have adverse interactions if taken together.
If you get a written prescription, look it over and make sure it matches what your medical provider just told you.
When picking up your prescription from the pharmacy, read the label carefully and make sure the medication prescribed by your medical provider matches the medications in the prescription.
  • The pharmacist should give you a print out of patient information about the drug that was prescribed to you. If not, ask for it.
  • If you think there is any type of medication error, bring it up to the pharmacist immediately.
  • Make sure your allergy information is correct in the pharmacy computer and make updates as needed.
Medical errors occur every day, but you can help prevent them.

Snyder and Wenner, P.C.
2200 E Camelback Road
Suite 213
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tired Surgeons

While there are no regulations on how many operations an orthopedic surgeon can perform per day, multiple studies have shown that a tired surgeon may put patients at risk.

According to an article published in the Poughkeepsie Journal, surgeons were interviewed in a 2011 Georgia Regents University study and said that fatigue has an effect on their emotions, cognitive capability, and fine-motor skills. Few of them reported that it has a large effect on patient safety. However, scientific studies have since stated that medical errors are much more likely to occur with a fatigued surgeon.

An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008 stated that a study showed the dangers of muscle fatigue, noting it increases how long the surgery takes, while a 2010 article declared there was an 83 percent increase in the risk of surgical complications for patients whose surgeons were not fully rested.
The Joint Commission has stated that fatigue increases the risk of medical errors, compromises patient safety, and increases risk to personal well-being. However, the commission or any other association does not provide guidance on the number of surgeries that can be performed by a physician in a given day.