Responsibilities of Health Care Organizations – Health System Example

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"Responsibilities of Health Care Organizations" is a significant example of a paper on the health system.   Health care organizations are entrusted by patients to provide quality care and treatment. As such, patient safety becomes an integral part of their operations. All initiatives should focus on reducing risks and improving safety because medical errors expose patients to physical injuries and psychological stress. In extreme cases, they lead to death.   Errors in care or negligent care are sometimes irreversible hence more reason health care organizations need to be accountable for their irresponsibility.

Some common forms of healthcare negligence include surgical errors, wrong-site surgeries, medical errors, hospital-acquired infections, and improper diagnosis among others. In most cases, blame usually befalls an individual rather than the organization as a whole. Although health care organizations have policies that may allow them to distance themselves from individual negligence, there is the likelihood of the organization being affected. The leadership or rather the management of an organization should be answerable whenever errors occur as a result of individual negligence. This is because they have a duty of creating a culture of safety within the organization. In order to make safety a priority, it is important for organizations to make a regular evaluation of whether individuals are maintaining high safety standards.

Sometimes, individual practitioners do not adhere to safety measures due to laxity on the part of the organization. Physicians who act negligently when rendering care usually have no sense of responsibility since they are conscious that under the organization’ s umbrella, they may be protected. It is also the responsibility of the organization to assess medical providers regularly. Rewarding health care organizations that maintain high safety standards is one way of promoting safety.

One such rewarding system was adopted by ISMP (Institute for Safe Medication Practices) to recognize companies, groups, and individuals who exhibited standards of excellence in maintaining safety (ISMP, 2009). The process of dealing with a case of negligence is very hectic for an organization. Providing compensation to a patient also costs the organization. Sometimes, the injury may not be as severe as it may cost. All in all, an organization has no option other than to compensate especially if the circumstances under question were avoidable.

The good thing is that there are legal channels through which problems caused by errors are channeled. Before compensation is made, thorough investigations are usually conducted. However, this should not be the basis upon which health care organizations refuse to account for the errors they make. It is very possible for physicians to avoid incrimination especially if they realize that no evidence will be found to pin them down. During their provision of health care, providers are usually aware that some errors are likely to happen. For instance, they are aware that some drugs have almost similar names and that the possibility of confusing medication is very high (GovTrack, 2008).

They are also aware that children are very touchy hence the need of being more careful when taking care of them (Batchelor, 2010). Based on such occurrences, failure to enforce precautionary measures should make healthcare organizations accountable for any errors that may occur, as a result. Both individual negligence and organizational negligence require accountability. No kind of compensation can make up for the loss of life despite the fact that some errors are accidental.

Though individuals commit errors, the organization should still be responsible because it is through the organization that individuals can execute their duties.

References

Batchelor, L. (2010). Toddler pricked by contaminated needles. CNN. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/10/22/us.child.needles/index.html?hpt=T2.

GovTrack. (2008). H.R. 5491 (110th): Emily’s Act. Retrieved from https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/hr5491.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). (2009). Eric Cropp weighs in on the error that sent him to prison. Horsham: Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Retrieved from http://www.ismp.org/newsletters/acutecare/articles/20091203.asp.

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