Emergency rooms can be dangerous places for any number of reasons. People who go to the ER tend to be very sick or badly injured, so it isn’t surprising that they may be pushing for answers or to be seen.
One of the greatest issues to overcome in emergency medicine is taking down accurate information and getting as much information about the patient as possible. Health care providers often have to quickly assess and treat patients with little information.
During this quick treatment, it’s still expected that they will diagnose and treat a patient properly. Failing to listen to a patient, such as ignoring the patient indicating that they have an allergy to a medication, could lead to serious injuries.
How can emergency room errors be prevented?
One of the things that more emergency rooms are doing is hiring scribes. Scribes are familiar with the electronic medical devices used in the emergency room and may take down data as the patient or doctor provides it.
Since the electronic medical record system takes time to learn and can result in errors if it isn’t used correctly, having a scribe take over inputting patient information makes sense. In fact, scribes help significantly by reducing doctors’ workloads by handling the documentation responsibilities that have to be completed. It’s known that working with a scribe can increase efficiency and quality of care.
In one study, it was found that there was a link between setting up a clinical scribe program and seeing an increase in the number of patients seen. The study found that just a 10% increase in the use of scribes increased the overall number of patient consultations by around one additional person per hour.
Scribes can help, but they’re not foolproof
Of course, it is important to remember that scribes can make mistakes, and those mistakes could lead to patients getting hurt. Regardless of how an emergency room is run, there is an expectation that patients will receive care quickly, efficiently and to the highest possible level of care. If they are injured due to mistakes, then they may be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim and seek compensation for their injuries.