Opportunities in Healthcare Quality Improvement: An Introduction
Keywords:Medical Errors, Pakistan Society of Health System Pharmacists, Low and Middle Income Countries
Medical errors do occur daily in almost every part of the world. The significant errors include: misdiagnosis, administration of a wrong drug, improper dose of a given medication, wrong route of administration, retained surgical instruments, transplanting organs of the wrong blood type and incorrect record keeping etc. Medical negligence has widely been reported by the media in Pakistan. A local study on a small number of patients revealed prescribing error of 39 %. A local newspaper reported that medical errors are the eighth leading cause of death in this country and about 7,000 people per year are estimated to die from medication errors alone (1). The president of Pakistan Society of Health System Pharmacists (PSHP) stated that, “As many as 500,000 people, including women and children annually die in Pakistan due to medication errors (2). Based on a British Medical Journal report, in the year 2013, there were 251,454 medical error related deaths in the USA. While even one death is too many. There must always be an effort made by institutions to prevent medical errors. Healthcare quality improvement is a neglected science in the low and middle income countries (LMIC) and Pakistan. Provincial governments in Pakistan have established healthcare commissions to accredit healthcare entities. This is a step in the right direction for a journey of thousand miles.
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