A Description of the Critical Incidence
When I was working at (indicate name of the hospital facility), we encountered various incidents that affected our interactions with patients and other stakeholders in the community. One of the health professionals misdiagnosed a patient, who ended up convulsing because of the misplaced treatment approach. Even though diagnostic errors occur in a medical environment, the success of a health organization is largely influenced by its ability to eliminate the mistakes. In extreme cases, diagnostic errors can lead to a patient’s death and interfere with the hospital’s reputation. Therefore, putting measures in place that can be used to overcome the challenges has a huge impact on guaranteeing patient’s wellbeing and protecting the facility’s reputation.
Although the patient’s health status was contained before worsening, the diagnostic errors had an adverse impact on her overall perspectives towards life. Her immediate family members accused the hospital of professional negligence and threatened to have it shut down because of the adverse outcome. Currently, the facility has adopted an effective mechanism that medical professionals are using to verify their patient diagnosis and issue accurate treatment approaches that address the underlying issues. Medical practitioners in the facility have been discouraged from being overconfident and portraying personal biases when interacting with patients in the health environment.
An Analysis of the Event
The diagnostic errors occurred because of a possible patient bias triggered by the health practitioner’s perceptions about African American individuals in the U.S. and beyond. Given the policy adopted by the facility, the affected professional was immediately reprimanded to allow investigations to take place and bring in a competent team of health workers to address the underlying issue. While the patient was diagnosed with high blood pressure and exposed to a rigorous set of treatment procedures, she was suffering from kidney failure. From this realization, the facility was blamed for its inability to administer a set of viable policies that act as guiding measures for the execution of treatment methods in the health environment. However, I admired the swift response from the hospital leadership who stepped up and exposed the patient to an enabling environment where further tests were conducted. While a different team was engaging the family to ease the pressure and contain the situation, the medical professionals were working on the patient to prevent her health status from worsening. The admission of guilt played a huge role in easing the situation as opposed to staging a cover-up, which would have exposed the patient’s life to extreme danger.
According to a recent healthcare report, diagnostic errors were highlighted as common occurrences that affect the nature of interactions between medical staff and patients. Importantly, diagnostic errors are common because of the human nature and tendencies that compel individuals to ignore different conventions that dictate the practice of medicine (Rubenfeld & Scheffer, 2010). In many instances, the end result of diagnostic errors revolves from delayed treatment to long-term injuries, which hinder the patient from engaging in activities in their surroundings. For this reason, medical facilities should focus on educating their staff about the dangers associated with diagnostic errors and the impact on their medical practice.
In my experience, the scenario at (indicate name of health facility) could have been avoided. Notably, the physician failed to order a series of additional tests to verify his early diagnosis but instead, dismissed the significance of the additional tests in clarifying the underlying issue. On many occasions, patients who experience diagnostic errors develop a negative perspective towards physicians because of their inability to contain their health situations. Therefore, avoiding personal biases and overconfidence when interacting with patients is an important aspect of practice that should be adopted to avoid diagnostic errors.
In this case, the facility’s leadership can create a reporting environment that enhances the medical process by allowing practitioners to learn from errors. For instance, when nurses and physicians make mistakes, they should openly report to their superiors and their colleagues to enable others to avoid committing similar mistakes. This way, it becomes easier for a facility to overcome the negative impact associated with diagnostic errors and a ruined public image. From this perspective, adopting teamwork when responding to patients’ needs can help reduce diagnostic errors because of the collective input that invites constructive criticism from other medical professionals.
Alternatively, medical facilities can expose their staff to a series of learning programs that widen their medical scope and understanding of different complex issues. When medical professionals are aware of the best practices that can be used to diagnose patients, errors become scarce because of the adoption of conventional methods to solving the emerging health issues. By creating a corporate culture that encourages health practitioners to embrace the diagnostic process, it becomes easier to eradicate the errors that ruin its public image. In the same vein, technical support from IT professionals can also be incorporated in the diagnostic process to allow other physicians to evaluate the diagnostic reports and overcome any instances that hinder individuals from pursuing their potential in the contemporary society.
Rubenfeld, G., & Scheffer, B. (2010). Critical thinking tactics for nurses: Achieving the IOM competencies. Jones & Bartlett Learning.