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Medical error and decision making : learning from the past and present in intensive care

Bucknall, Tracey K. 2010, Medical error and decision making : learning from the past and present in intensive care, Australian critical care, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 150-156, doi: 10.1016/j.aucc.2010.06.001.

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Title Medical error and decision making : learning from the past and present in intensive care
Author(s) Bucknall, Tracey K.
Journal name Australian critical care
Volume number 23
Issue number 3
Start page 150
End page 156
Total pages 7
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2010-08
ISSN 1036-7314
1878-1721
Keyword(s) medical error
patient safety
clinical decision making
intensive care
Summary Background : Human error occurs in every occupation. Medical errors may result in a near miss or an actual injury to a patient that has nothing to do with the underlying medical condition. Intensive care has one of the highest incidences of medical error and patient injury in any specialty medical area; thought to be related to the rapidly changing patient status and complex diagnoses and treatments.

Purpose :
The aims of this paper are to: (1) outline the definition, classifications and aetiology of medical error; (2) summarise key findings from the literature with a specific focus on errors arising from intensive care areas; and (3) conclude with an outline of approaches for analysing clinical information to determine adverse events and inform practice change in intensive care.

Data source : Database searches of articles and textbooks using keywords: medical error, patient safety, decision making and intensive care. Sociology and psychology literature cited therein.

Findings : Critically ill patients require numerous medications, multiple infusions and procedures. Although medical errors are often detected by clinicians at the bedside, organisational processes and systems may contribute to the problem. A systems approach is thought to provide greater insight into the contributory factors and potential solutions to avoid preventable adverse events.

Conclusion : It is recommended that a variety of clinical information and research techniques are used as a priority to prevent hospital acquired injuries and address patient safety concerns in intensive care.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.aucc.2010.06.001
Field of Research 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)
Socio Economic Objective 920210 Nursing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Australian College of Critical Care Nurses Ltd.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30029830

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Nursing and Midwifery
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in TR Web of Science
Scopus Citation Count Cited 15 times in Scopus
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Created: Wed, 25 Aug 2010, 10:22:09 EST by Jane Moschetti

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