Clinical laboratory managers are often part of the ER’s process improvement team
Hospital emergency rooms (ER) across the country are intensifying their focus on improving patient safety and reducing errors. The cost of malpractice lawsuits filed after errors in emergency rooms is a major reason why growing numbers of hospitals are initiating formal programs to identify and eliminate the source of errors and wrong care provided to patients.
It probably won’t surprise most pathologists and clinical laboratory managers to learn that diagnostic errors are one significant source of malpractice claims that result from care provided by hospital emergency rooms, which can often be chaotic and overcrowded. Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that a large percentage of medical errors in hospitals—and the resulting malpractice suits—occur because of mistakes in the emergency room. Studies of closed claims show that 37% to 55% of the malpractice suits are attributable to diagnostic errors. (more…)