Tag Archives: PatientSafety
New telemedicine technologies are transforming hospitals across the country by making it easier for healthcare professionals to monitor and communicate with patients. Depending on the hospital, these new technologies are used in a variety of different ways to improve patient safety. Improving communications with patients: At St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, nurses appear on high-definition televisions to assist patients. Nurses can walk patients through discharge instructions or demonstrate how to dress wounds. Doctors can remotely consult patients on their medication regimens or show patients imaging testing results. Enhancing patient monitoring: At CHI Health, the hospital is using 3-D cameras and advanced algorithms to remotely monitor patients for falls. These cameras and algorithms can predict movements and alert hospital staff when patients are at risk of falling. Other hospitals or medical centers use wearable technology like Google Glass to monitor and assess patients. Providing greater access to healthcare:…
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Several recent examples of hackers holding patient records hostage have been circulated by news outlets. Hospitals have also faced direct attacks on their IT systems. Other cybersecurity risks at hospitals are far more serious and involve equipment used to treat and monitor patients. These attempts show that patient safety and cybersecurity are becoming intertwined. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sees cyberattacks on medical devices as a threat. In 2015, the FDA issued a warning that drug pumps used all over the country are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Cybersecurity researchers have remotely hacked drug pumps used to administer morphine. Some defibrillators that connect via Bluetooth have also been hacked by to prevent shocks from occurring. Researchers have altered patient medical records. In theory, this could be used to cause doctors to make medical mistakes. Finally, there have been recent, full-scale cyberattacks on hospitals designed to damage operations. An attack on the…
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Reports released by British Medical Journal and other publications suggest medical errors have becoming a leading cause of death in the United States. Medical errors can happen for various reasons, but some mistakes are more common than others. Diagnostic errors are the most common medical mistake. According to a study published in the medical journal BMJ Quality & Safety, 12 million adult patients are misdiagnosed every year. This amounts to 1 in 20 adult patients seen by doctors across the country. Additional statistics uncovered by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that 28 percent of diagnostic errors resulted in death or permanent disability. Patients who are misdiagnosed can have their quality of life plummet. The Washington Post interviewed a former cancer patient who described how his misdiagnosis robbed him of the ability to speak. According to the man, doctors diagnosed his reoccurring throat pain with acid reflux disease….
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