Medical Errors in Healthcare Essay

Healthcare plays a key role in the development and growth of any society as it allows for increased productivity given that only healthy individuals can participate in economic activities. Nevertheless, questions have emerged on whether healthcare is a right or a privilege. While there may be varying opinions, it is evident that healthcare in the United States remains a fundamental human right. Indeed, as much as the United States is yet to come up with universal healthcare program, any citizen has the capacity to access healthcare, in which case the services are not the premise of only those who can afford the same (Almgren, 2017). Nevertheless, safeguarding healthcare as a right necessitates some level of government intervention given the fact that a private system has the potential to leave some with no access (Tye et al., 2017). The government must ensure that public health facilities are sufficiently equipped, with their services being subsidized to allow for increased access (Wicks, 2007). On the same note, it must create awareness among the population with regard to the importance of health insurance and require that citizens sign up for the same as was the case for the ACA of 2010.

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Perhaps one of the most fundamental social issues that affect access to healthcare in the United States is cultural competence. It is acknowledged that different individuals from different cultural grounds have varying beliefs, norms and values that must be inculcated in their healthcare if such services are to be effective (Hughes, 2016). Indeed, it is noteworthy that the efficacy of healthcare in attaining the required goals is often affected by the beliefs of the patient, as they determine the patient’s participation in healthcare, adoption of recommendation, as well the potential for seeking healthcare (Tye et al., 2017). Cultural competence should be addressed by the healthcare institutions themselves in line with the areas in which they are located and their clientele as this allows for increased dynamicity. In the article “Why is cultural competence in healthcare so important?”, it is stated that nursing students and healthcare facilities have access to varying training resources that would be helpful. The multiplicity of cultures in different parts of the country necessitates that healthcare facilities provide their own training according to the clientele they serve.

The development and adoption of information technology in contemporary healthcare systems has, undoubtedly, resulted in increased patient safety in the long-term and the short-term. Indeed, the adoption of the appropriate information technology has the capacity to enhance quality, lower costs and increase efficiency. Key among the ways in which technology promotes patient safety is the facilitation of communication between healthcare professionals. More often than not, multiple health professionals offer care to a particular patient, in which case there is increased potential for error or miscommunication. The adoption of information technology in the form of EHRs allows for the elimination of such miscommunication through the compilation and maintenance of all patient health information and history in an easily accessible record.

On the same note, information technology reduces the potential for medication error. More often than not, medical errors involve prescribing errors, which could result in immense problems for the patient. Information technology allows healthcare professionals to make electronic prescriptions, which means that the pharmacy gets accurate information. This is compounded by the incorporation of clinical flags and medical alerts, as well as reminders (Murray, 2017). Even more fundamental is the capacity of information technology to increase the participation of patients in their care. The increased participation increases satisfaction and adherence to treatment regimen.

Moreover, information technology increases access to information pertaining to the patient and medication. Scholars have noted that a large proportion of medical errors result from insufficient information pertaining to the drug or patient. Information technology provides access to information regarding patient history, allergies and other predisposing factors that could cause negative reaction of the patient to a drug (Moumtzoglou, 2017). Further, it provides information on the drugs themselves, thereby allowing for better decision-making.

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Almgren, G. (2017). Health care as a right of citizenship: The continuing evolution of reform. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis
Hughes, J. (2016). Why is cultural competence in healthcare so important? <>
Tye, J., Dent, B., & Tye, D. (2017). Building a culture of ownership in healthcare: The invisible architecture of core values, attitude, and self-empowerment. Indianapolis, IN : Sigma Theta Tau International
Moumtzoglou, A. (2017). Design, development, and integration of reliable electronic healthcare platforms. New York, NY: Routledge
Murray, E. J. (2017). Nursing leadership and management for patient safety and quality care. New York, NY: Routledge
Wicks, E. (2007). Human rights and healthcare. Oxford: Hart Pub.