An average of at least one error per day. That’s what the Institute of Medicine estimated that hospitalized patients experience during their stay. Despite ongoing provider education and awareness programs ranging from The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals, ECRI’s Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns Report, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey on safety and quality, the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) Top Ten Patient Safety Priorities and more, highlighting medication safety challenges and corrective actions, it hasn’t resulted in a significant drop in incidents.
In 1999 the Institute of Medicine published a pioneering report, To Err Is Human: Building A Safer Healthcare System. It was the first report to highlight the human cost of medical errors. Their research uncovered that as many as 98,000 patients had died from preventable medical errors in U.S. hospitals each year. But the report didn’t point fingers at healthcare workers who made honest mistakes. Instead, it focused on the importance of reducing medical errors and improving patient safety through the design of a safer healthcare system. One system that improved as a result of these findings was using labels to communicate crucial information throughout the patient care spectrum. Surprising? Not really. Here is how medical labels are improving patient safety and quality of care.
Consumer brand companies employ high-end designers to create product labels that stand out on the retail shelf. But for the typical healthcare organization, graphic designers are a rare luxury. So when you need a custom medical label to meet a compliance guideline or provide useful staff communications, that responsibility usually falls on someone without significant label or design knowledge. And when that occurs, use these tips for creating custom medical labels to simplify the process.