RE: Fear and Loathing at the Job Site

Subject: RE: Fear and Loathing at the Job Site
From: "Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 May 2003 16:54:10 -0400

DGoldstein -at- DeusTech -dot- com wrote:

>"A controversial 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine found that between 44,000 and 98,000 people die each year from medical errors. The 7,000-plus medication errors annually eclipses [sic] the number of workplace deaths in this country."

Tech writing tie-in:

The response to this study has leaned heavily in the direction of looking at systems, not persons. Hospitals, other providers, insurers, regulatory bodies, and accreditation bodies have been looking at root causes of the simple errors that are the vast bulk of what the study looked at (as opposed to gross negligence, malpractice, etc.) and have been attempting to upgrade systems to make those errors less likely. They have looked at usability, documentation, workflow (how many noisy steps between a doctor writing orders and a nurse administering a medication, for example), procedures and protocols, etc.

Medical knowledge (subject-matter expertise) is all well and good. But if the medication is dispensed at 10 times the dosage the doctor requested because the system was poorly designed or documented--the process sucked, in other words--the patient is going to be harmed.


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