Quality healthcare implies that errors in the hospital should be avoided so that patients are safe. Experts in the field say that in case an error is noticed, one should always take proactive steps to bring the matter to authorities. When you are worried or have an intuition that something might go wrong, it is prudent for you to take action immediately. As a patient in a hospital, you are entitled to safety procedures that protect you. This is why it is prudent for you to be educated and informed when it comes to patient safety and quality healthcare in the USA. You must make sure that you should never make false claims when reporting a health-related problem.
What steps should you take when you notice errors in hospitals?
Mahesh Navani is the CEO and co-Founder of eClinicalworks, an esteemed name in the field of healthcare in the USA. He says that when you notice that something will go wrong, you should immediately talk to someone. If you can talk to someone who is looking after you personally, as an attending nurse, it is better. In case, you do not have someone you personally know to report the incident to do not be afraid or nervous. As a general rule, all hospital staff from the clinical administration to the nursing care team have the onus to protect you and keep you safe.
Address the issue with respect and assertion
You should ensure that the issue is addressed with respect and assertion. Note, no one likes to make a mistake, so inform the caregiver as soon as possible to resolve the issue fast. In case, there is a mistake that happens to you, make sure you inform the hospital staff immediately- the staff should have the designation and the power to resolve the issue. Ensure that you would the feedback of the error reported and follow up. If you cannot follow up by yourself, make sure it is done by a family member in your stead so that you get the latest news.
Consult customer service of the hospital in case you do not receive a response
In case you do not receive a response, ensure that you contact customer service, the department for family relations or the patient advocacy unit. In case you are not comfortable to speak directly to someone in the unit, ensure that your family member speaks to the concerned person about the error. If you are not sure, take assistance from a neutral party- for instance, you can ask a hospital librarian to assist you with the information you need. They can often give you the name of a group that will address your current issue.
Last but not the least, Mahesh Navani says several hospitals have an organized IT system whereby you can directly report hospital errors with the help of a suggestion box or a hotline. Note, if you are a patient and wish to resolve a hospital error, ensure it is reported, followed up and resolved!