Medical technology and medical errors

As medical science becomes more high tech, we also need to understand the risks that come along with this technology. One particular problem with such devices is that the timers on these devices do not always work in the way intended.

One can only imagine the types of problems that may exist when medications are administered at the wrong time while using infusion pumps, or when anesthesia is provided at the incorrect time. Patients also have been known to be exposed to unnecessary radiation and have suffered radiation burns in the process.

Pennsylvania hospitals cannot be complacent when it comes to use of this technology. A researcher of patient safety warns that healthcare facilities must pay attention to medical technology when it is being used. And beyond the technology, medical staff must also question the paperwork that is generated with the equipment being utilized.

There are obviously going to be consequences that come along with dosing errors, or when machinery does not detect problems when monitoring patients. Though medical providers will use technology in hopes of making their job easier, this sort of convenience cannot come at the cost of medical care for the patients.

Medication errors are one of the leading causes of medical malpractice claims brought by lawyers – with or without medical equipment used in hospitals. Without human oversight, these problems are likely to just be compounded. Though doctors may blame the equipment that is being used for medical errors, over reliance upon these types of devices should not make medical providers any less accountable for when medical errors occur.

Source: Modern Healthcare, “More technology, more risks,” by Jaimy Lee, Nov. 3, 2012