The reality in Canadian healthcare institutions is that medical errors can happen. There are certain mistakes that patient safety organizations do not think should ever take place. These mistakes are called "never events."
To help prevent such events from occurring, a list identifying them was recently put together by Health Quality Ontario and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.
The Globe and Mail reports on our healthcare system,
"Never Events for Hospital Care in Canada, represents the first national consensus document on a list of events that health care institutions must work to eliminate. The report was put together with input from a variety of health quality organizations known collectively as the Never Events Action Team.
The document includes a list of 15 "never events" and guidance on how institutions can prevent such occurrences and shift the culture to become more open and willing to report mistakes and problems. The hope is that health care institutions will take steps to prevent them."
A total of 15 events are included on the list. The types of events found on the list include:
- Patient attempted suicide or suicide
- The failure to ask about a patient's allergies, leading to that person's death
- Leaving a foreign object in a patient
- Surgery performed on the opposite side of where it is supposed to be
- Administering the wrong blood, biological implant or tissue
- The abduction of an infant
In addition to the list, suggestions regarding how to prevent the mistakes from occurring in the first place are included. So too is guidance on how the culture at medical facilities needs to be changed so that all feel more willing and open to report the problems that do arise.
Regardless of whether an injury a patient suffers is included on this list, if negligence on the part of a medical professional is to blame, a medical malpractice lawsuit could be appropriate. The damages recouped in a successful lawsuit could help an injured patient or the family of a patient who has died.
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