During the summer months along the Outer Banks as you enjoy the sunny beaches the last thing on your mind is probably your own safety if you ever have to admit yourself or a loved one into the hospital. Although the Outer Banks Hospital in Nags head, North Carolina (NC) is a fine and modern facility that can handle most of you medical needs, there are some troubling facts that cast serious doubt on a patient’s safety on a national basis.
According to a very recent report in the Journal of Patient Safety, Nurses feel a sense of conflict about disclosing a mistake even though they understand the importance of such actions. The main excuse cited was that the nurse didn’t feel the error was serious enough to go through the time it takes of reporting it.
There are many reasons that would seem to permit this behavior to fester and take root at medical institutions, but the challenge many hospitals face is that they create a culture that impairs nurses from being able to learn from their mistakes. A movement towards what educators call a “Just Culture” is trying to establish some momentum in some hospitals that provides a safer environment for the patient at risk. So far, it is not taking hold, unfortunately.
What it boils down to is effective decision making skills among the nurses at every level in a hospital. Most indications of poor decisions seem to stem from time pressures and alarmingly based on whether or not the patient was harmed or not. National focus groups have also reported that there has been little feedback when a nurse discloses a mistake so that characterizes that the error reporting as not meaningful. This is very troubling, indeed.
The Journal of Patient Safety also cites in a research study that often nurses perceive errors as a result of failure of skill, motivation or knowledge. In fact, many feel that it would lambaste their career and mar their own reputation. So, there is a perceived “stigma” attached to something that is direct line to your overall safety as a patient!
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper,Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.