In this three-part monthly series, EMS World examines medical errors and preventable harm in prehospital and in-hospital settings. Medical errors are preventable events caused by procedural or communicative mistakes resulting in physical harm to, or death of, the patient. This series covers root causes of medical errors and how to implement measures to prevent them from occurring. The criticality of this systemic problem is indicated by a 2016 study conducted by Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, which contends that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., citing “communication breakdowns, diagnostic errors, poor judgment, and inadequate skill” as primary causes of error. The study’s data revealed an estimated 400,000 deaths occur every year in the U.S. as a result of medical error.
In Part 1, James Woodson, MD, FACEP and CEO of Pulsara, discusses Pulsara’s vision of reducing patient harm and treatment times. Pulsara software serves as a central hub of information that can be accessed by every healthcare provider who comes in contact with a patient, from prehospital to definitive care providers. The accessibility allows for a clearer, organized network of communication to reduce the chances of providers being misinformed or misheard during transitions of care.