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The aspect of the medical issues which has led to diverse errors in the healthcare delivery has been a sensitive causing failure of the entire system affecting most of the patient to an extent of death as well as costing the U.S economy. A recent study from John Hopkins conducted in 2018 claims that more than 250,000 people in the United States die from medical errors this has been a growing epidemic since the 1950s. Many deaths are caused by the medical errors according to the medical paper that was released. This is where the research paper showcased that about 250,000 of U.S citizens die annually due to medical errors especially in cancer and cardiovascular-related diagnosis. Medical errors are the third-leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. There are other studies that have shown that the medical errors account for up to 440,000 deaths a year. The reason why these numbers are so unclear is that physicians, funeral directors, coroners, and medical examiners tend to not note the human errors or system failures that caused death. Whichever number of deaths it may be the truth is that it is an ever-growing problem in our healthcare system and something needs to be done regarding it (Sipherd, 2018).

Defining the Problem

The aspect of reducing medical error is essential in the U.S healthcare system to ensure that patients’ needs are achieved with ease as well with efficiency thus reducing medical issues which have caused death and misdiagnosis in the past. Patient safety is at risk due to the medical errors with serious health problems. Medical errors are costly for humans, the economy, and social viewpoint. An example of this would be unnecessary tonsillectomies in the 1950s in which the profession acted slowly to limit the procedure. It was not until the 1970s where the issue was forced that public scandal and the avoidable deaths of children caused the procedure to be reevaluated. It is important that we adopt the same standardization of definitions and data for us to be able to assess the impact of interventions (Pietra, 2015).

Some errors are easily detected and can be rectified. Treatment-related errors are easier to detect than diagnostic and prevention errors. A nurse inserting a breathing tube incorrectly is easily identified unlike a physician misdiagnosing their patient. The error may be made as simple as a primary care physician who does not have their diabetic patient have an eye exam. Where it is known that diabetic patients are prone to glaucoma or blindness due to their disease. Errors in diagnostics include error or delay in diagnosis, failure to employ indicated tests, use of outmoded tests or therapy, and failure to act on results of monitoring or testing. Failures in treatment error in the performance of operation, procedure, or test. Failure in administering treatment, in the dose or method of using a drug, avoidable delay in treatment or in responding to an abnormal test. Risk factors such as age, complex care, urgent care, and prolonged hospital stays have been associated with a higher rate of errors (Pietra, 2015).


It is scary to think that most medical students, as well as physician trainees, have little instruction when it comes to both the basis of diagnostic errors and the methods to avoid them. The interest in improving patient safety has become a leading responsibility of the American healthcare system. The efforts have been slow for the area of diagnostic errors. The frequency in misdiagnosing patients has not improved much even though there have been improvements in diagnostic technology. A method that is used to help prevent diagnostic errors is to have clinicians describe the methods they use and how they affect their clinical reasoning. Some clinicians diagnose patients early in the process and stay fixed on their original diagnoses. Another technique to combat errors in diagnosing is to take a timeout in the diagnosing process. Sometimes when someone is writing a paper, it is important to take a step back and come back to it later. Sometimes errors are found and can be seen from a different viewpoint. It is also important to possibly have different people review your work before turning it in. In this aspect, we see that physicians who are glued to one diagnosis may have a different approach by taking a timeout or getting a second look at their diagnoses (Trowbridge, 2008).

In the United States out of eight practicing physicians is older than sixty-five and plenty of these physicians’ practice into their seventies. Many organizations in healthcare believe that physicians may suffer from cognitive impairment making the risk of misdiagnoses greater. An age-based screening program that may be used is in question to screen these doctors from having cognitive impairment. Different means must be used to screen both young and old physicians. To determine who is posing a risk to patients. There are federal statutes that prohibit age-based screening the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. These acts prohibit discrimination because an employer is only permitted to require medical examination when it has reasonable belief that an individual has a condition that could interfere with job performance or the individual poses direct threat to others. The limitations on these screenings allow health organizations to only examine those that they have reason to believe maybe impaired or otherwise dysfunctional (Moore,2018).


Medical errors have a lasting effect on patients, the treating doctor, nurses and the institution. A safe environment must be presented for patients to have a feeling of trust with their provider. Doctors make mistakes, but they do not always share their mistakes with patients or their families. Human errors are common and are underreported. Since no one wants to own up to his or her mistake there is little to know about the causes or consequences of these errors. Without disclosing the mistakes or problems in reporting there are no ways to learn from them. If we do not learn from our mistakes in the past we are bound to repeat them. Let’s take for an example a patient who has a heart condition and has been put into treatment to take care of his or her illness. The patient may either react by getting better or worsening to the treatment prescribed. If the patient gets better, then a doctor will note the steps taken to help the patient. Let’s say that the remedy prescribed ends up killing the patient due to errors in diagnosing. The error is undocumented leaving the error to be able to be made once again. These errors must be documented to be able to stop it from happening again later to someone in a similar situation (Bari, 2016).

A major issue in nursing is the number of nurses that work in the government sector. The number of nurses working in the public sector is low because of the poor pay which creates a situation where the nurses are too small for the demand that is present. Therefore, the nurses that are present most of the time are being overworked and this affects their work performance. Nurses are also being paid poorly which creates a situation whereby the workers are not satisfied. This demotivates the nurses and creates a situation where the nurses have a low morale and when the morale of the workers is low, then it is easier for them to be involved in all manner of errors. The other issue is that for one to be a nurse in the United States the regulations required is normally strict. This creates a situation where the workers must try hard and do many examinations to become a nurse. This is tasking, and some people find it discouraging because they spend many years in school compared to other professions. This demotivates people to be a nurse which then creates a shortage and leads to nurses being overworked and this leads to the increase in errors that is made by nurses.

We are at a point where the baby boomers are all retiring which is leaving the United States health care system without a replacement. There is a lot of hoops that doctors must get through to get to the same reputable rapport as these other doctors who are retiring. The shortage of nurses and doctors is leaving them to be overworked which is making them sleep deprived. Nurses and doctors under so much stress being sleep deprived does not allow for them to be able to function correctly. It is not easy to multitask with such little sleep and being overworked to the point where you must take on double shifts doesn’t help matters anymore. All these factors cause stress which is another reason why mistakes are being made. When doctors or nurses cause these errors, it gives them a sense of guilt, shame, disappointment, fear and a sense of inadequacy. We are not superhuman, we need sleep, we need to have adequate time off, and we cannot expect our physicians to not make errors when there are not enough of them to go around.


In the context of reducing medical errors proposals such as better tracking of the medical resources to ensure an efficient medical care provision, as well as focus on the public attention regarding careless operations. This should be the move of the government and authorities in the medical care operations to maintain dignity and efficiency thus reducing the number of deaths. Medical errors are an international medical problem that has drawn the attention of researchers in trying to find a solution for it. The goal is aimed at having a significant reduction in mortality rates due to previous medical errors and therefore saving lives. We want improvement in the medical fraternity reputation as opposed to previous medical errors that ruined their names. We need the trust of our patients for them to follow instructions and medications that are given by the doctor.

Effective measures to curb medical errors in the United States have been safety reporting, barcoding, and computerized physician order entry. A proposal of revamping safety reporting is essential in enhancing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to monitor and improve the safe use of the drugs. This will ensure safety to all patients leading to the safety of life as well as the quality of healthcare delivery. Barcoding is an aspect of unique identification of the drug in the pretense of reducing medical error an aspect that leading to wrong medication leading to the generation of other ailments affecting patient’s life and mostly leading to death. Computerized physician order entry is a system that will be steered to ensure the entry of the correct medical information regarding a patient is achieved rather than orally or paper writing operations aspects that have caused medical issues in the past. Sensitizing patients about the different types of errors that they may encounter in the context of the medical care operations. This will enable reduction of the errors in future. The aspect of error tracking and public education is vital in the pretense of ensuring an efficient medical operation is achieved (“Strategies to Reduce”,2017)

Proposed Solution

The programs that have been put into place have not had much success. The government has made efforts to ensure that medical mistakes and errors are eradicated in hospitals, to improve the overall healthcare. However, even though the government has come up with programs such as ‘partnership for patients’, there seem to be no notable changes. For instance, studies show that more than 90% of these errors go unreported, which points to the fact that the programs have been ineffective. First, I would like to reduce the number of hours that are worked. When the workers work for a reduced amount of time, what happens is that when they report to work most of the time they are usually fresh, and this creates a situation whereby, they are ready to work, and they are attentive to the work they are doing which helps reduce errors. Another thing I would like to do is use technology, nurses can be checked via cameras to ensure that they are ready and that they are not lazing around. They also have computers which help them to remember the details of the patient and what they need which then makes it easy for them to be able to attend to the needs of these patients.

I would also like to raise the pay rates of nurses. When workers are paid well, they are usually motivated to give their best in the workplace. Therefore, when the workers are best paid, then it makes it easy for the organization to be able to have a reduction in the number of errors made in the hospital because the workers are motivated to work, and they are also enthusiastic about their jobs which then makes them dedicated to giving their best. Lastly, I would like for all nurses and physicians to report any errors by having an incentive program. By reporting errors, we will have less of a likelihood of repeating the same errors twice. By reducing hours and raising pay rates we can have well rested and motivated clinicians. Increasing technology and creating an incentive for reporting errors will decrease the number of errors that are made. To implement these four ideas, we must be funded the amount of money in our health care system must be raised to lower errors. Reduced hours, better pay, technology and a reporting incentive would not be easy, but if we had a program funded to implement these changes through the government we would have a lot fewer errors.


After all my research has been done about the growing epidemic of medical errors increasing in our hospitals and clinics I believe the problem lies with reporting. Collecting data on medical errors is essential for improving patient safety, but factors affecting error reporting by physicians are poorly understood. Reporting errors improves the quality of care for future patients. Most faculty and resident physicians are inclined to report harm-causing hypothetical errors, but only a minority have reported an error. Having an incentive for reporting errors would help diminish the number of errors that are not reported. Doctors and nurses are understaffed and overworked which causes moral and motivation to diminish. Lowering the amount of time overworked clinicians are working and increasing their incentives helps boost morale, in turn, helping to lower errors. Technology being brought in to keep an eye on staff and to help keep track of which patients are taking whichever medications help lower errors as well. The problem is evident that clinical errors are on the rise and with a few adjustments, I believe we would be able to minimize this number. We need new technology, lessened hours, pay raises, and incentive reporting programs to help fade these errors and keep patients alive.

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