Medical errors are the most common form of preventable adverse healthcare-associated accidents that can be emotionally devastating and costly because of the more extended hospital stays. For example, U.S. hospitals report more than 250,000 deaths due to preventable medical errors annually, making it the third leading cause of mortality after heart diseases and cancer (Anderson & Abrahamson, 2017). Still, these numbers may be underestimated because, according to Anderson and Abrahamson (2017), only up to 10% of medical errors were adequately reported. One of the hospitals that reported a high incidence of medical errors was Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH), located in Connecticut. Specifically, the hospital’s adverse events rose to almost 13 cases per 100,000 patient days (Rosner, 2019). Although tremendous damage is imposed on patients and their families, healthcare workers are also at an increased risk of emotional distress (Robertson & Long, 2018). Moreover, the hospital carries substantial economic losses because of such adverse events. Therefore, this proposal aims to suggest a specialized prevention program to reduce the incidence of medical errors in YNHH.
Description of the Organization
YNHH is one of the largest non-profit healthcare institutions in the United States that received its current name due to its affiliations with Yale University. This hospital provides comprehensive and focused care to thousands of patients daily in different specialty areas (Yale New Haven Health [YNHH], n.d.). It is a 1541-bed healthcare facility and is considered the second-largest employer in New Haven, CT, with more than 14,000 workers, one-third of them being medical personnel (YNHH, 2020). YNHH is a tertiary hospital that receives patients from all American states and other countries, providing a wide range of healthcare services (YNHH, n.d.). However, like many other hospitals, this organization has an imperfect medical error prevention system, increasing adverse events.
Medical error is a huge issue for hospitals and patients. Apart from unfavorable statistical data that places the United States in the top position according to the prevalence of adverse health events, this issue causes severe psychological disturbance to healthcare workers. For example, clinicians who caused unintentional harm to their patients have post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disturbance, poor concentration, anxiety, and depression (Robertson & Long, 2018). Moreover, according to Rodziewicz et al. (2020), “preventable medical errors contribute substantially to healthcare costs, including higher insurance costs per person expenses.” Similarly, a 7% rise in adverse medical events in YNHH contributes to increased emotional distress among medical personnel and financial expenses for the hospital (Rosner, 2019). Since this problem is not new in the American healthcare system, various tools have been developed to minimize these errors.
The older punitive methods in preventing adverse events in healthcare practice were ineffective because it makes clinicians reluctant to report their errors. Thus, various models for protecting patients’ safety at every level were introduced. For example, the well-known root-cause analysis aims to identify the reason for the mistake rather than finding a person to blame (Rodziewicz et al., 2020). Moreover, various preventive measures such as proper sanitation rules, time-out before surgeries, and double-checking the correctness of medication dose exist (Rodziewicz et al., 2020). Still, human error can never be eliminated; therefore, introducing tablets with electronic medical records near each patient’s bed can help minimize these unintentional mistakes.
Overview of the New Technology Solution
YNHH will receive an incredible benefit from implementing this technology solution. The main idea behind this solution is to place tablets near each hospital bed. The tablets will have access to patients’ electronic medical records and be updated for every new admission. Moreover, each device will have a notification system that will remind about diagnostic procedures and medications ordered by physicians. The software should also contain tools to ensure the correctness of therapeutic doses and administration intervals. Indeed, the era of information technologies allowed the digitization of medical services and develop the concept of smart healthcare (Tian et al., 2019). Intelligent technologies will facilitate information search and data analysis in hospitals, reducing the workload for medical personnel (Tian et al., 2019). Furthermore, errors will diminish because less stressed clinicians are more concentrated and less likely to make mistakes. Therefore, providing devices that can assist YNHH’s staff in patient care can help minimize the rate of medical errors.
Solution Scenario at YNHH
Once the tablets are installed near each hospital bed in YNHH, training on the new hardware and software use will be conducted for the staff. The system will function in a way to have an uninterrupted update of patient discharge and admission records. Electronic medical records should be renewed regularly based on patient history, allergy panels, and new prescriptions. Moreover, the tablet will contain quick access to scientific and medical databases, templates, healthcare calculators, and diagnostic results. Such an intervention will require purchasing high-quality devices and software and collaborating between the programmers and healthcare workers (Tian et al., 2019). Therefore, the entire YNHH personnel should be involved in successfully implementing the new technology to diminish the prevalence of medical errors.
One of the most common types of preventable deaths in healthcare organizations is medical error. For example, thousands of lives are lost annually in American hospitals because of medical mistakes (Anderson & Abrahamson, 2017). Indeed, the United States has higher clinical errors rates than other developed countries (Anderson & Abrahamson, 2017). There are two types of adverse healthcare events: omission and commission – errors of not taking action and wrong procedure, respectively (Rodziewicz et al., 2020). Still, medical errors are challenging to measure and classify to have legitimate statistical data. The hospital that reported an increase in the incidence of medical errors was Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH), one of the largest healthcare institutions in Connecticut. Specifically, the hospital’s adverse events rose to almost 13 cases per 100,000 patient days (Rosner, 2019). Although medical errors cause significant damage to patients, healthcare workers are also at high risk of psychological disturbance (Robertson & Long, 2018). Moreover, enormous economic losses are carried by the hospital as the result of these accidents. Therefore, this proposal aims to suggest a specialized prevention program to reduce the incidence of medical errors in YNHH.
YNHH is a healthcare organization that aims to achieve outstanding health outcomes for its patients. It was founded in 1826 in New Haven, CT, as the General Hospital Society, which was opened as a charitable institution to treat impoverished people (YNHH, n.d.). The first affiliation was established with Yale School of Medicine in 1913, transforming into a non-profit teaching hospital (YNHH, n.d.). YNHH has well-established programs in cancer care, pediatrics, cardiovascular surgery, transplantation, and psychiatry (YNHH, 2020). The hospital strives to implement innovative ideas and technologies to provide the best care, which allowed them to gain patient trust. According to the 2020 annual report, it had almost 70,000 inpatient admissions, 120,000 emergency department visits, and 1.3 million outpatient referrals (YNHH, 2020). YNHH is based on such ethical values as integrity, compassion, accountability, and patient-centered care (YNHH, n.d.). The hospital continues to be ranked in the top 20 best healthcare organizations in the United States (YNHH, 2020). Still, there was a 7% rise in the number of adverse medical events (Rosner, 2019). Therefore, the new technology solution project should be considered for implementation at YNHH.
The new technological solution will allow YNHH to assist clinicians in delivering high-quality patient care. Indeed, healthcare is a dynamic interaction between healthcare workers, patients, hospital managers, diagnostic tools, and innovative technologies. (Tian et al., 2019). Since digitalization was introduced to every aspect of human life, adding tablets near every hospital bed should reduce the workload and stress from the vast information that every clinician should remember in modern days. The outcome of this approach should be a drop in the incidence of medical errors.
The Innovative Idea
The proposed idea is to install tablets near each hospital bed at YNHH. The purpose of placing these devices is to reduce the informational burden for healthcare personnel, resulting in a decrease in the number of preventable adverse medical events. Although several novel software services such as Electronic Medical Record, Picture Archiving and Communication System, and Laboratory Information Management System were introduced, additional advanced information management tools are needed (Tian et al., 2019). One example of such a system is IBM Watson, an artificial intelligence tool that can assess provided data fast and give an accurate diagnosis (Tian et al., 2019). However, this tool still requires improvement to reduce the chances of errors. Another example of digital technology use in hospitals is placing tablets near each bed in Taiwan (Rosenberg, 2019). Such functions as communication with nurses, diagnostic data, remote control of in-room facilities, and access to various entertainment platforms were included in the Taiwanese Smart Hospital Tablet (Rosenberg, 2019). This tool allows doctors to have instant access to information and provides leisure for patients.
Similarly, the proposed system for YNHH will allow the staff to retrieve patient data at the bedside, but the entertainment feature will be eliminated. Although it provides comfort for patients, allowing them to have the remote control for room service and watch videos, it is not likely to play a role in diminishing the rate of medical errors (Rosenberg, 2019). Therefore, only healthcare workers will have access to these tablets to extend the devices’ lifetime and prevent violation of patient privacy. The tablets should have enough digital power to provide access to electronic medical records, laboratory and imaging results, and scientific databases. The potential business partners for this innovative solution are Microsoft, IBM, Google, Dell, Apple, Amazon Web Services, and Verify. The decision about what hardware to choose for this project should be made collectively in the hospital because it has to be convenient for the staff. However, the software needs to be selected based on the device and features that it possesses; thus, the three preferred partners for this project are Apple, Microsoft, and Google.
Infrastructure for the Project
The current infrastructure of the hospital appears to be appropriate for the implementation of this project. YNHH is a 1541-bed hospital; thus, the number of tablets equivalent to the number of beds should be purchased (YNHH, 2020). The devices’ proper functioning requirements are the electrical supply and connection to a wireless network. Since electricity and wi-fi are available at YNHH, no additional modifications will be needed for this project in the hospital’s infrastructure apart from establishing specialized stands where each device will be attached.
Choosing the partners for this project is one of the most difficult and crucial moments. There are two types of network partners in healthcare, strategic and manufacturer relationships (Ilin et al., 2018). The strategic partnership is the cooperation with complementary partners such as insurance companies, the government, and educational institutions (Ilin et al., 2018). The latter form of the partnership involves establishing relationships with pharmaceutical corporations and companies that produce medical devices and personal protective equipment (Ilin et al., 2018). The collaboration between YNHH and a technology company can also be categorized as manufacturer relationships. The partners being considered for this technological renovation for YNHH are Microsoft, Google, Dell, and Apple. The survey should be conducted to determine what hardware is more comfortable for the majority of the hospital staff. The project team will consider the survey results to provide the supreme convenience for healthcare professionals of YNHH; however, the final decision will depend on the available funding and the potential partners’ conditions.
The project delivery mechanisms should be chosen carefully to minimize unnecessary expenses and risks. Delivery mechanisms is defined as the process and program implementation methods (Mahmood & Zahari, 2021). Various delivery mechanisms are known, but the choice of the method differs with projects. For example, this new technological solution is aimed to reduce the rate of medical errors in YNHH by introducing tablets near each hospital bed to provide clinicians with constant access to patient information. In this particular case, a delivery mechanism should target the YNHH personnel. The hospital staff will be notified about the program’s importance through corporate emails and flyers. Furthermore, the presentation about this innovative approach will be delivered to every subdivision of YNHH. Moreover, all healthcare professionals will be asked to participate in an online survey to identify their preferences for specific devices.
Financial operation is an essential component of any business project. Four principal payments methods are known in business: cash, bank transfers, credit or debit card payments, and e-wallets (Rapyd Team, 2020). Ideally, the customer should be provided with an opportunity to choose among several methods. However, extensive projects, like the one proposed for YNHH, need wireless or electronic transfers due to the payment amount. For example, the preferred payment method, in this case, is a bank transfer.
The Reasons to Embrace the Project
The importance of the need to reduce the prevalence of medical errors in YNHH cannot be overestimated. However, there are two other practical reasons for embracing this innovative technology solution. The modern world provides enormous possibilities for research, allowing scientists to make discoveries daily that are quickly incorporated into practice. Indeed, it will enable the development of new therapeutic and surgical methods for patients faster than in the past century. However, it also demands physicians to understand and memorize all this knowledge and the patient data, crucial for establishing the correct diagnosis and administering the proper treatment. Therefore, the first reason to implement this project is to assist doctors and nurses in managing all this information. Medical and nursing schools train clinicians to strive for perfection because human lives are at stake in this profession (Robertson & Long, 2018). Still, the human brain has certain limits that may result in loss of concentration or forgetfulness, considering the nature of the healthcare workers’ jobs. Thus, installing tablets with patients’ medical records and access to necessary databases will contribute to the safety network in the hospital.
The second reason for embracing this project is to prevent burnout among healthcare workers by minimizing medical errors. In addition to being a substantial economic burden for hospitals, medical errors can damage clinicians’ mental and physical health (Robertson & Long, 2018). Although patients are the primary victims of adverse medical events, doctors and nurses were found to be at an increased risk of developing major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and anxiety (Robertson & Long, 2018). Indeed, maintaining the well-being of the staff should be one of the priorities that are equal to attaining excellent patient outcomes for hospital administrators. Providing psychological help to healthcare professionals involved in a medical error is vital; however, preventing these accidents by eliminating the primary causes appears to be more advantageous. Therefore, introducing this technological solution in YNHH will diminish clinicians’ informational stress and workload, preventing burnout and lowering the risks of medical errors.
There are three possible ways to obtain funding for this project. The first way is to ask for philanthropic support from large corporations. Indeed, according to the 2020 report, YNHH received more than $11 million from the outside in the form of charity (YNHH, 2020). Secondly, fundraising can be used to get funding for this project by organizing social events like charity runs that became popular in the present time. For example, the 2020 virtual bike riding event allowed the hospital to raise $1.75 million in donations (YNHH, 2020). The third way is to include this innovative project into the budgeting plan for the next fiscal year. YNHH is oriented to prevention and innovation; thus, they introduced novel workstations for patient assessment and robotic surgeries (YNHH, 2020). Therefore, implementing this project to improve patient care and medical staff satisfaction can become compelling for hospital management.
To summarize, this project is aimed to minimize medical errors in YNHH by installing bedside tablets that will allow clinicians to manage patient records for each admitted patient and access essential medical databases. The reason for proposing this technological solution is the recent report about an increase in the incidence of medical errors in this hospital. Since YNHH strives to achieve excellence in patient care, teaching, and disease prevention, the factors contributing to the rise in adverse hospital events should be eliminated. One of the significant causes of medical errors is increased workload, informational overload, and burnout among healthcare workers. Therefore, this issue can be resolved by providing these digital tools to assist clinicians in managing medical records, diagnostic results, and treatment. The potential partners for this project are Microsoft, Dell, Google, and Apple that will be selected based on their conditions and the survey results among the staff for devise preferences. Finally, the funding for the project will either be obtained from donations or the primary hospital budget.
- YNHH is one of the top 20 American hospitals.
- It was founded in 1826 in New Haven, CT.
- Comprehensive healthcare service.
- A 7% rise in medical errors.
- The incidence of adverse medical events in YNHH: 13 cases per 100,000 patients.
YNHH is a healthcare organization that aims to achieve outstanding health outcomes for its patients. It was founded in 1826 in New Haven, CT, to treat poor people (YNHH, n.d.). YNHH has well-established cancer care, pediatrics, cardiovascular surgery, transplantation, and psychiatry departments (YNHH, 2020). The hospital continues to be ranked in the top 20 best hospitals in the United States (YNHH, 2020). However, there was a 7% rise in the number of adverse medical events in YNHH (Rosner, 2019). Specifically, the hospital’s adverse events increased to almost 13 cases per 100,000 patient days (Rosner, 2019). Therefore, the new technology solution project should be considered for implementation at YNHH.
The Innovative Idea
- The idea: To install tablets near each hospital bed at YNHH to provide clinicians with access to medical records and databases.
- Aim: To reduce the informational load for clinicians and lower the number of preventable medical errors.
- Similar examples: The Taiwanese Smart Hospital Tablet project.
The proposed idea is to install tablets near each hospital bed at YNHH. The purpose of placing these devices is to reduce the informational burden for healthcare personnel, resulting in a decrease in the number of adverse medical events. Similar innovation was made in the Taiwanese hospital, where devices included such functions as communication with nurses, remote control, and access to entertainment platforms (Rosenberg, 2019). In the proposed project, only healthcare workers will have access to these tablets to prevent violation of patient privacy.
Technology and Partners
- Tablets that will provide access to electronic medical records and scientific databases.
- Preferred partners: Microsoft, Google, and Apple.
- The choice of device will be made collectively.
The tablets that will be installed near each hospital bed will allow clinicians to have access to electronic medical records and various scientific databases. The potential partners for this project are Microsoft, Google, Dell, and Apple. However, the final decision about the brand will be made after the survey among the YNHH staff.
Infrastructure, Delivery Mechanisms, Network Partners, and Payment
- YNHH is a 1541-bed hospital with electricity and wi-fi.
- Information about the project will be provided by e-mails, flyers, and presentations.
- Potential network partners: Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Dell.
- Payment methods: Bank transfer.
YNHH’s infrastructure seems to be suitable for this project and will not need significant modifications. The hospital has 1541 beds that will require purchasing the same number of devices (YNHH, 2020). Furthermore, a proper electricity supply and wireless network are available at YNHH. The details of this idea will be explained to the hospital staff in e-mails, flyers, and presentations. Moreover, the potential partners are Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Dell. The recommended payment method for this project is a bank transfer.
Importance and Funding
- Assisting in managing healthcare data.
- Reducing medical errors.
- Funding: Donations, fundraising events, and hospital budget
There are two main reasons to implement this idea at YNHH: assisting in health information management and reducing psychological disturbances among clinicians. The funding for this project can be obtained from donations, fundraiser events, or the hospital’s budget.
- YNHH reported a rise in adverse medical events.
- Tablets near each hospital bed should help medical personnel manage information more efficiently and reduce the incidence of medical errors.
- Hardware and software selection will be finalized after the survey among hospital staff.
To sum up, this project aims to minimize medical errors in YNHH by installing bedside tablets that will allow clinicians to manage patient records and access medical databases. The reason for proposing this technological solution is the recent report about increasing medical errors in this hospital. This issue can be resolved by providing these digital tools to assist clinicians in managing medical records, diagnostic results, medications, and procedures. Finally, the partner for this project will be selected based on the survey results.
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