In healthcare settings, errors and negligence occurs very frequently causing different consequences to patients who deserve to be treated safely. There are differences between errors and negligence. The World Health Organization defines Errors as follow: “The failure of a planned action to be completed as intended (i.e. error of execution) or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim (i.e. error of planning) (3). Errors may be errors of commission and usually reflect deficiencies in the system of care.” Errors cause thousands of victims in the United States. According to many statistics, a lot of those cases of errors could be prevented. They are often due to human’s faults or to the system failure.
Negligence is the act to do what others in normal conditions do correctly. In negligence, people do less than the standard level. “Negligence is the failure to provide a standard level of care or, in other words, the delivery of substandard care. In the above scenario, it would have been negligence if the physician had neglected to check the chart, which stated that Patient A was allergic to Antibiotic X” (David H Sohn 2013).
There are several examples of medical errors: Giving for example an IV injection in IM is a medical error. Doing surgery on the left hand while it was scheduled to be done on the right hand is another good example of a medical error. Giving one patient’s medicine to another patient is a medical error. Like we are observing; all of those examples are preventable. If the physician had neglected to check the chart, which stated that Patient A was allergic to Antibiotic X, that is an example of negligence.
Because errors and negligence are inherent to human’s nature, I believe that they could be handled by just culture; then, avoiding punitive actions. The action to be taken to balance error and negligence should be based on the personal accountability. Then, it would be based on trust. According to Marcia M. Rachel 2012; “Without trust accountability doesn’t exist. Instead you see dissent, blame, and passing the buck. Without trust, employees hide information they think could give someone an advantage or could be used against them. Creating trust requires an honest dialogue-and this means the leader must offer a safe space for staff to share concerns, ideas, and problems. It also requires an environment of respectful engagement and communication.”
FOOD FOR ALL (FFA) – FEED FOR HOPE
Mohamed Elmahady CAMARA

References:
Rachel M. R. (2012): American Nurse today: Accountability: A concept worth revisiting: Defining
accountability; retrieved from

Accountability: A concept worth revisiting


Sohn D. H.: PMC: Negligence, genuine, and litigation; retrieved from
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576054/
World Health Organization: World Alliance for Patient Safety: WHO draft guidelines for adverse event
reporting and learning systems: From information to action: Definition; retrieved from
http://www.who.int/patientsafety/events/05/Reporting_Guidelines.pdf

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