Medical Errors and Patient Safety Literature Research

This paper presents a review of several credible sources exploring medical errors and patient safety. A variety of studies performed on the subject proves its relevance and calls for attention. The reviewed articles present a sound basis for further research on the issue of patient safety and medical errors.

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Aiken et al. (2012) investigate patient security and hospital care quality. In their study, the authors aim to find out whether well-performed care at hospitals is capable of influencing the patients’ safety and state, and the nurse personnel stability. Large numbers of the participants of the study prove the article’s credibility. The research concludes that patient safety depends on the medical staff’s working conditions to a great extent. The level of nurses’ burnout and discontent with the job can drive to worse care levels.

Anderson et al.’s (2014) article has for its primary purpose featuring the practical implications for helping the acute care hospitals enforce their efforts in preventing surgical site infections (SSIs). The authors provide the data explaining how patient safety can be under threat in the case of SSIs. The complications and the outcomes of SSIs are described. The researchers mention the negative health and economic outcomes of SSI cases. The most severe danger of SSIs is death.

The review article by James (2013) is highly crucial research as it presents the data showing the number of patients who suffered from medical errors along with the most common causes for such mistakes. The author concludes that there is a vast amount of lethal harm done to the patients by the medical workers. James emphasizes the need of taking the issue to a much more advanced level. He suggests regular checking with the patients for harm identification, outlining the responsibility of the medical workers, and complete engagement of the patients and their lawyers into the hospital care process.

The article by Kahvecioglu et al. (2014) studies multidrug-resistant organism infections as one of the health hazards which the patients face while at acute care hospitals and nursing homes. The authors remark the damage caused by this health threat both for the patients and for the government (concerning the cost of treatment). Strict control over multidrug-resistant organism infections is proposed as a solution to the problem. Furthermore, close collaboration between acute care hospitals and nursing homes concerning the problem is recommended.

In their research, Monsalve et al. (2014) discuss another issue connected with patient safety. The authors investigate the medical workers’ hand hygiene as one of the main factors contributing to the patients’ safety at hospitals. The research results reveal that the medical personnel’s adherence to hand hygiene depends greatly on the peer effects, in particular, the presence of other staff members has a positive effect. The article describes one of the ways of enhancing the patients’ safety.

Schultz, Lowe, Srinivasan, Neilson, and Pugliese (2014) study the economic outcomes of excessive antimicrobial treatment in US hospitals. The authors investigate how excessive application of antimicrobial therapy can put the patients’ health under threat. Another aspect of investigation deals with the harm to the economy done by the overutilization of antimicrobial medical treatment.

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The problem of patient safety and medical errors is a crucial one, and thus it needs thorough consideration. The amount of studies done on this topic illustrates the seriousness of the issue and emphasizes the need for coming up with solutions for it.


Aiken, L., Sermeus, W., Van den Heede, K., Sloane, D., Busse, R., McKee, M.,…Kutney-Lee, A. (2012). Patient safety, satisfaction, and quality of hospital care: Cross sectional surveys of nurses and patients in 12 countries in Europe and the United States. BMJ, 344, 1-14. Web.

Anderson, D., Podgorny, K., Berríos-Torres, S., Bratzler, D., Dellinger, E., Greene, L.,…Kaye, K. (2014). Strategies to prevent surgical site infections in acute care hospitals: 2014 Update. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 35(06), 605-627. Web.

James, J. (2013). A new, evidence-based estimate of patient harms associated with hospital care. Journal of Patient Safety, 9(3), 122-128. Web.

Kahvecioglu, D., Ramiah, K., McMaughan, D., Garfinkel, S., McSorley, V., Nguyen, Q.,…Phillips, C. (2014). Multidrug-resistant organism infections in us nursing homes: A national study of prevalence, onset, and transmission across care settings, October 1, 2010-December 31, 2011. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 35(S3), 48-55. Web.

Monsalve, M., Pemmaraju, S., Thomas, G., Herman, T., Segre, A., & Polgreen, P. (2014). Do peer effects improve hand hygiene adherence among healthcare workers? Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 35(10), 1277-1285. Web.

Schultz, L., Lowe, T., Srinivasan, A., Neilson, D., & Pugliese, G. (2014). Economic impact of redundant antimicrobial therapy in US hospitals. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 35(10), 1229-1235. Web.

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