Addressing the pain and expense of never events
By Valerie J. Dimond – July 22, 201814969
Never events — serious, preventable medical errors that leave patients with debilitating injuries, life-threatening infections and worse — are considered mostly rare occurrences. But they still happen. Just over 20 percent of Americans surveyed last September by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement reported personal experience with a medical error and 31 percent said they were closely involved in the care of a patient who experienced an error. In addition, more than eight in 10 people believe patient safety is mainly the responsibility of healthcare providers, hospital leaders and administrators. When asked what caused the medical error they experienced, people identified, on average, at least seven different factors1 (see sidebar “Avoiding common medical errors in the OR” at www.hpnonline.com/avoiding-common-medical-errors).
Depending on whom you ask, or which reports reach your desk, it can be difficult to determine whether some healthcare facilities are marching toward reform or merely jogging in place. For instance, according to new Leapfrog research, one in five hospitals today do not have an established “Never Event” policy in position.
GloShield is a single-use safety device that reduces the risk of OR fires and burns attributed to fiber-optic light cables in an intuitive way. It functions by connecting to the distal (scope) end of the light cable during the entirety of the surgical procedure. When a scope needs to be attached to the light cable, instead of disconnecting GloShield completely, the user simply flexes GloShield out of the way and connects the scope normally. Upon scope disconnection, when an OR is most at risk, GloShield automatically rebounds to shield the environment from the light cable, eliminating the interaction between the heat/ignition source and the fuel (drapes).