Ten Ways Dialysis Professionals Can Prevent Medical Errors

Ten Ways Dialysis Professionals Can Prevent Medical Errors

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in United States1. These adverse events are costly to your center and deadly to your patients. Most common reasons for medical errors are poor communication, inadequate training, taking short cuts on job, and multitasking.

In a survey of dialysis professionals2, 43% reported a patient being given the wrong medicine or medicine at the wrong time, and 63% reported a patient not receiving a medication at all.

Here are 10 ways to prevent medical errors:

  1. Survey your patients and staff for any errors they witnessed. List the reported errors and talk with your team for possible ways to correct them
  2. Follow Policies and Procedures manual – Take time to read policies concerning patient care and understand the proper way of handling the tasks on hand
  3. Analyze your monthly near miss incidents report and watch for trends. Work with your team to find ways to correct most common errors
  4. Have your staff do peer audit of critical processes such as dialysate mixing, to catch any errors before they happen
  5. Create a strong medication administration program – follow the “5 rights” – right patient, right time, right drug, right dose, and right route. Identify the critical control points and set processes to prevent errors
  6. Strengthen communication between the staff and with the patients – develop a structure for handoff conversations
  7. Work backwards – analyze your infections and hospitalizations reports to identify any medical error causes and then correct them to prevent future errors
  8. Educate and train your new employees on medical errors during orientation
  9. Offer at a minimum, annual training to your staff on how to avoid medical errors
  10. Enforce a culture of safety in everything you do! Review your processes from patient safety point of view and immediately change if not meeting the standards


  1. Healthcare Business & Technology
  2. Nephrology Times

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