My research topic is Hospital Errors and Infections, and their relation to the preventable death. Hospital-acquired infections and hospital errors are believed to be the main causes of the fatal outcomes during hospitalization and hospital treatment. They can lead to serious complications that prolong treatment and worsen patient’s health status.
The limitations of the study include the inability to gather information about errors and infections and analyze every hospital-acquired infection and hospital error in the city as it would demand serious financial resources. Thus, the research is limited because only particular hospitals and clinics can provide data to the author of the research; the results of the study will apply to these facilities only but may differ from other hospitals throughout the country. Moreover, the risk of acquiring a hospital infection also depends on such individual factors as patients’ health, the workload of nurses/physicians/other professionals, the health system of a hospital, etc. Hence, the data presented by one hospital can be very different from the data provided by another hospital.
Use and Application of Findings
Introducing and explaining the findings of the research is important as the reader receives an opportunity to understand the practical value of the research (Jacobsen, 2011). The findings will help the medical staff evaluate the risks and understand what triggers these risks; moreover, the findings can also contribute to the scientific literature that approaches the problem of HAIs and hospital errors by providing new data and insights into problems of particular hospitals that may be common for many of those.
The first recommendation would be to decrease the number of invasive procedures that are unnecessary; it is more reasonable to use invasive procedures when they are obligatory and justified by the diagnosis or case. Hospital infections are often acquired through invasive procedures and tools used for it, such as catheters and ventilators (Göçmez et al., 2014). If these measures are only used when required, the number of hospital infections will decrease.
As the lack of information about the patient, as well as their inability to explain their health status or health problem, can lead to hospital errors and wrong prescriptions of medicine and procedures, it is advisable for patients to provide up-to-date information or records about their health and illnesses or diseases (Franklin, Reynolds, Shebl, Burnett, & Jacklin, 2011). If this recommendation is followed, medical staff will have an opportunity to avoid hospital errors due to incorrect or obsolete information provided by patients.
As miscommunication among medical staff can lead to medical errors, it is necessary to develop a standardized form of communication about prescriptions and other instructions so that they are not misunderstood. Moreover, written instructions and handoffs are also capable of helping medical staff avoid miscommunication (Starmer et al., 2014). As the workflow can be challenged by such methods, it is advisable to observe how medical staff is evaluating the new form of communication. However, Starmer et al. (2014) notice that such approach has not influenced the workflow of the hospitals where the method designed by the authors was implemented. Thus, written instructions and a standardized form of communication can help avoid misunderstandings and decrease the number of hospital infections.
The research study aims to approach hospital errors and infections in order to understand if they are the cause of preventable death and how their number can be decreased to assure that they are not the main causes of preventable deaths in hospitals. Most of the hospital-acquired infections are divided into several categories depending on their type, e.g. catheter-related bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, etc. To decrease their number, it is advisable to avoid invasive procedures if they are not necessary. Complications triggered by HAIs can also lead to fatal outcomes. Sometimes the causes of HAIs are not the invasive procedures but the sanitary conditions. The research also addresses the problem of sanitary conditions in hospitals to analyze how they correlate to fatal outcomes in hospitals.
The causes of hospital errors vary: workload and workflow, miscommunication between medical staff, lack of understanding among medical staff, patients’ inability to communicate due to health issues or lack of language skills can lead to medical errors. These, in return, are able to cause preventive death; hence, their importance during treatment cannot be underrated.
Although the sample size of the research is not significant, it allows evaluating the problem efficiently. However, as the data will be provided only by certain hospitals, the results will not allow the author to understand whether the same problems are common for other hospitals or they are justified by local factors. The risk of acquiring hospital infections depends on many factors that often vary from individual to individual.
Hospital-acquired infections and medical errors were reviewed and studied by many authors who provided valuable information to the author of the study. However, additional data is needed to understand how the errors and infections can be prevented and if they are indeed related to the preventable death of patients.
Franklin, B. D., Reynolds, M., Shebl, N. A., Burnett, S., & Jacklin, A. (2011). Prescribing errors in hospital inpatients: A three-centre study of their prevalence, types and causes. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 87(1033), 739-745.
Göçmez, C., Çelik, F., Tekin, R., Kamaşak, K., Turan, Y., Palancı, Y., & Bozkurt, M. (2014). Evaluation of risk factors affecting hospital-acquired infections in the neurosurgery intensive care unit. International Journal of Neuroscience, 124(7), 503-508.
Jacobsen, K. H. (2011). Introduction to health research methods. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Starmer, A. J., Spector, N. D., Srivastava, R., West, D. C., Rosenbluth, G., Allen, A. D., & Lipsitz, S. R. (2014). Changes in medical errors after implementation of a handoff program. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(19), 1803-1812.