Ambulatory chronic disease patients suffer preventable medical errors

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

July 29, 2009

An article in the July Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety highlights the gaps in the healthcare system to which ambulatory patients with chronic disease are exposed. The study, undertaken by a team of researchers at the University of California San Francisco, found that unlike in hospital settings in which patients are managed by a team of caregivers during their stay, ambulatory patients are often managed by many different caregivers with a lack of defined protocols. Additionally, the researchers found that medical errors sometimes occurred because of the lack of communication among ambulatory patients' health providers, as well as patients being unaware of their own medication regimens.

Recommendations for improved care include making sure patients are aware of how to manage their own chronic diseases. Additionally, the team concluded that ambulatory surgical facilities need to make a greater investment in technology to provide better patient safety surveillance.

To read more about the study, click here.