Pennsylvania residents may have heard that medical errors and prescription drug interactions are among the nation's leading killers, but they might not know just how hazardous a stay in an American hospital can be. Studies indicate that more than 400,000 American hospital patients die each year as a result of a hospital error, and about 75,000 patients die as a result of infections that they develop during their hospital stays.
In spite of the efforts of many in the medical community in Pennsylvania and around the country, medical errors trail only heart disease and cancer as a cause of U.S. deaths. One of the believed resolutions for medication errors in particular is the use of computerized-physician-order-entry systems, but it appears that these systems are not as effective at rooting at problems as they were expected to be. A recently released study done by a non-profit organization found that a significant number of mistakes aren't being found by these systems.
When a Pennsylvanian has an elderly loved one who is on a number of different medications, it is important to make certain that all of the loved one's doctors and health care professionals are on the same page. Medication errors can happen when there is a break in communication, potentially harming the patient as a result.
When Pennsylvania patients are hospitalized, they expect their health care staff to provide their medications in a timely and safe manner. This job falls to the nurses. However, the nurses' jobs also include other tasks, all of which must be balanced. This means that nurses often experience numerous disruptions and interruptions throughout their workday, which could potentially lead to errors.
Medical care is more advanced and sophisticated than it has ever been. However, it is also more chaotic and costly. Because of all this, patients can often feel overwhelmed and uninformed when it comes to their health care options, expectations and needs.
Chest pain and heart palpitations could send a person in Pennsylvania to the doctor looking for an explanation. If that person is a woman, however, the doctor might attribute the problems to anxiety instead of heart disease.
Problems with prescriptions can occur when patient names get confused, an instruction label is printed wrong or one is given pills at a stronger dosage than needed. Prescription errors could lead to serious health issues for Pennsylvania residents, but a pharmacist from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices has some tips for preventing drug errors.
A simple test could help doctors identify colon cancer patients in Pennsylvania and nationwide who have a more aggressive type of the disease, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. As a result, these patients could opt for chemotherapy treatment, which is not typically recommended for early-stage colon cancer.
An Oxford University research team has merged two competing surgical safety theories to enhance patient safety during a procedure. One school of thought believed that working as a team made surgeons and staff more effective and less prone to mistakes during a procedure. However, another thought was that creating better protocols would make patients safer. By combining the two ideas together, surgeons may be able to get the best of both paradigms.
Pennsylvanians may be interested in a large-scale study completed by researchers in Europe. In the study, 2,090 patients from 540 doctors were surveyed about the patients' diagnoses of respiratory conditions.