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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 307

Patient safety - Protect yourself from medical errors

Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Surat, India

Date of Web Publication3-Nov-2016

Correspondence Address:
Mohua Moitra
Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Surat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.193342

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How to cite this article:
Moitra M. Patient safety - Protect yourself from medical errors. Indian J Community Med 2016;41:307

How to cite this URL:
Moitra M. Patient safety - Protect yourself from medical errors. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Jun 13];41:307. Available from: https://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2016/41/4/307/193342

Title : Patient Safety-Protect yourself from Medical Errors

Author : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD

Publisher : HELP-Health Education Library for People

The author's intention to promote patient safety at the core of health care quality is absolutely perfect, well timed and in spirit shall hit the right chord among all the stakeholders identified by him like the hospital CEOs, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, managers, administrators and patients. Throughout the book, the author has given genuine advice on gathering information and offers good internet sites for reference. His opinion on forging partnership between a doctor and patient is very reassuring and creates confidence which shall restore faith in the current scenario. This book shall help to create an educated patient base. Using the SPEAKUP approach as an effective tool for positive health care experiences is a welcome idea.

However, the drawback in an otherwise honest effort is that it tends to get into a populist bias towards patients (not a bad thing from their point of view though). The data mentioned about adverse events affecting patients is not referenced, thus difficult to accept as evidence. The book tries to get dramatic at times and often burdens the author’s own experiences on all the doctors, which might be seen by some as an exaggeration. It seems to border on sensationalizing to get action. To promote only the negative side of the complex structure of healthcare is not fair as these different tiers also act as a double check to reduce error. It is rare for all the holes to fall in line as explained in his “cheese model” on the contrary they are valid check points. There is also a lack of clarity in certain portions like it is not clear why a patient has to participate in clinical research to gather evidence. This book would mostly help people from the more affluent background as he asks them to go for 2nd / 3rd opinions which would be a financial strain for most patients. Another concern is that, how far would it be justified to contest a trained expert’s advice based on some information from the net? The interpretation of all the technical information would vary from case to case. This tussle would be a stumbling block in forging partnerships between a patient and doctor as envisaged by the author. The author also confuses them by offering them ‘veto power’ to reduce unnecessary tests on one hand and then holding them responsible in their failure to perform the ordered test. If you take a printed version, then the font size in some tables could be challenging. Being a gynaecologist, we can absolve the author for referring to all his patients as “HER”.

Overall, the intention is noble and any effort to minimize errors is welcome.


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  2007 - Indian Journal of Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
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