Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Checklist in Preventing Medical Errors in Long Term Care

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Did you know that around 444,000 patients die every year because of medical malpractice?

This is actually the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer, and because of this, long term care providers are making prevention of these deaths as their top priority. As a matter of fact, about 60,000 of residents die due to bed sores alone.

There are myriad of reasons behind these medical errors and the one that came at the top is miscommunication. According to nurses, there is a poor communication between them and physicians because they feel slightly intimidated in clarifying their orders.

With that minute mistake, a lot of people have died and more people will fall the same fate as long as they don’t fix the communication line.

In order to avoid this situation, here are some effective ways that can reduce cases of medical errors:

  1. There should be a communication log where all patient care is written in a formal request.
  2. Make sure that the healthcare team knows every member and has the chance to discuss the patient’s care plan.
  3. Create a checklist in order to make sure that the patient is given the right medicine, proper dosage at the right time, administration of medication and relevant documentation as well.
  4. Proper education of staff can increase competency.


Bedsores are common likewise medical errors. A caregiver’s failure to attend to a patient’s bedsore might cost his or her life.

  1. For caregivers, here are the best practices to handle bedsores or pressure ulcer treatment inside long term care facilities.
  2. Keep the skin dry and the wound moist in order to promote viability and tissue health.
  3. The wound should be covered at all times.
  4. Changing the dressing of wounds should be done everyday or as often as needed. Caregivers should be careful in dressing changes in order to avoid damaging skin.
  5. Sponge the excess moisture for wounds that are draining heavily so that the wound will heal fast and avoid damaging the skin.
  6. The dressing for dry wounds should be moist for faster healing.
  7. Patients with diabetes and other circulatory problems should be monitored regularly since blood circulation is critical to healing.


For more information and tips on long term care, visit http://bit.ly/1No7bvR.

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