Inadequate communication is one of the most leading causes of patient complaints, adverse events including hospital deaths. Communication errors, to a great extent, can be fixed by embracing the right technology. Technology is considered as the ‘science or knowledge put into practical use to solve problems or invent useful tools.' The science of knowledge begins from the ‘stone age’ and it is evolving, evolving faster than ever before. Technological advancement encompasses every domain and has made us ever more efficient and productive. Technology in healthcare helps to redress grievances, reduce medication errors, lessen adverse events, improve patient safety, and ensure compliance to accreditation standards and clinical practice guidelines.
Using IT Judiciously
It’s a fact that busy service providers rely more on equipment to carry out life-saving interventions presuming that the information technology will provide reliable outcomes whereas the literature shows that it’s not always true. This wrong notion that equipment-generated results are always right becomes a norm especially when no immediate adverse event occurs. This leads to a phenomenon called normalization of deviance - a tendency of deviating from the standard operating procedure, an inherent fallible human tendency.
Given the fact that ‘err is human…’ and unexpected adverse events do happen in any circumstances, attention should be given to detection and mitigation before it occurs. Hence, it is important that a new system and/or equipment requires to be tested in a real-world scenario, as much as possible, to identify potential problems and avoid unintended consequences. Competent healthcare quality professionals and biomedical engineers, who are more familiar with human factor engineering, have a major role to recognize the human tendency and organize simulation exercises and take corrective actions wherever required. Standardization and Forcing Functions are two major strategies adopted in healthcare to prevent inadvertent mistakes from being performed by a service provider.