Medical errors classification approaches in focus

patient doctorSafety in health care, the protection of the patient from complications arising from the treatment and providing appropriate medical care to the patient according to safety standards are the basis of a mandatory attribute of the rule and the professional activity of the doctor.

In medical practice and the relevant literature the term and concept of ‘medical error’, and the scope of these errors, unfortunately, is quite huge. At the same time one of the largest ’secrets’ of medicine are medical errors, the concealment of which is associated with the fear of prosecution for a poor knowledge of the specialty and the possible penalty that prevents the active work on the errors. The importance of the problem is high and it is pretty clear that health authorities need to reorganise and rearrange the information about medical errors and their analysis.

Most often in practice of the physician adverse side effects include complications of drug therapy. So what causes these reactions: the wrong choice of drugs (including the cases without taking into account contraindications of a patient and information about them in the instruction to the drug), dosage errors, intolerance, the simultaneous use of two or more drugs and etc. The greatest number of errors (more than 70%) is due to the combined prescription of medicines. Thus, simultaneous reception 8 drugs increases the likelihood of medical errors by 50%.

In all the cases, analysis of medical errors harming the patient must establish three factors: the significance of harm, causes and conditions of its origin and legal aspect. It is a common and cornerstone principle allowed us to propose a classification of medical errors. According to this classification medical errors are divided into three fundamentally different categories (listed below).

medical errors classificationMedical errors with causing harm to the patient, the causes of which are beyond the knowledge and skills of modern medicine, or occurring randomly regardless of the doctor. Foreseeing and preventing such errors is hardly; they do not contain elements of crime and delinquency. According to the largest medical negligence solicitors hubs in the UK, this type is the most widespread one.

Errors causing harm to the patient, committed unintentionally in the event of responsible and skilled performance of professional duties in relation to this and other sick, not containing elements of a crime and offense that set professional medical commission. These errors are related to space and thoughtlessness in medical knowledge. As a rule, legal prosecution in such cases does not occur.

Finally, the third category of medical errors implies the cases of causing harm to the patient due to the irresponsible actions, negligence, carelessness, ignorance of elementary medical, moral and ethical norms that are legally classified as a crime or misdemeanor, and therefore they are legally punishable.

Legal prosecution of medical error that caused harm to the patient is not carried out in any country in the world only if the error does not constitute a crime or offense that caused harm to the patient.