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Arch Hellen Med, 35(2), March-April 2018, 151-162


Errors are human (part ΙΙ): Strategies for preventing and managing medical errors

T. Adamakidou,1 M.L. Tsantidou2
1Department of Nursing, Laboratory of Nursing Rehabilitation of the Chronically Ill, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Athens,
2Public Health Physician, Public Health Directorate, Ministry of Health, Athens, Greece

Medical errors during the provision of health care services are recognized to be causes of patient morbidity and mortality. International organizations, institutions and researchers have targeted on the development and implementation of strategies for the prevention of medical errors and the management and promotion of patient safety. This is the second in a series of two reviews on medical errors. Its purpose is to describe some of the most effective strategies for the prevention and management of medical errors. A search was made for articles and international organizational reports published in the last 15 years in PubMed and Google Scholar, using the key words "error", "near misses", "adverse events prevention", "management", "patient safety" and "safety culture". The review revealed various strategies for patient safety promotion, distinguished into clinical, and organizational. Strategies for preventing and managing medical errors at the clinical level concern the improvement of communication between health care team members, the reporting of medical errors, and the patients' role in their own safety during the caring process. The organizational strategies concern the practices at the organizational and administrative level of an institution, and policy at the national level. The prevention of medical errors comprises one dimension of the quality of health care provided, which can be achieved only when there is a change in the cultural approach. A combination of multilevel changes and specific practices according to the type of medical error are confirmed by reports in the literature as being effective in the management of medical error.

Key words: Management, Medical error, Patient safety practices, Prevention, Safety culture.

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