Physicians and medical organizations can be held accountable for their actions in case of patient injury. Error reporting through value based purchasing or public reporting is required to improve quality of services offered by healthcare provider organizations.
Vicarious liability ensures that one party is legally responsible for the actions of another based on the existing relationship between them. Abdel-Latif claims that if a physician is an independent party, he or she is held responsible for patient injury (27). Equally, corporate liability holds healthcare organizations liable for own organizational actions that directly leads to patient injury. Indeed, medical organizations are responsible for the actions of incompetent physicians they employ. The first step to preventing liabilities is to investigate quality concerns that may subject patients to risks. This is followed by implementation of change to address the quality concerns raised from the initial step. To prevent errors, healthcare organizations act on accurate and reliable patients’ diagnosis and prescription data retrieved from electronic medical records. Additionally, telehealth technology allows physicians to reduce errors by conducting remote follow-up to ensure that medical orders and instructions issued to patients are followed to the latter.
Public reporting allows consumers to access information relating to competency of clinicians and the performance of healthcare organizations. Per Oyebode, public reporting enables patients to compare healthcare organizations’ performance measures relating to care quality (325). Public reporting also enhances a patient’s decision-making when selecting a healthcare service provider. As a result, public reporting improves quality by reducing mortality and hospital stays in long-term care organizations. Consequently, value-based purchasing ensures that healthcare organizations are reimbursed based on the level of the quality services they offer to the clients. Delacroix avers that value-based purchasing method reduces medical costs as patients have rights to hold hospitals accountable for costs and service quality (407). Therefore, value-based purchasing improves patient healthcare outcomes. Additionally, value based purchasing increases patient satisfactions by reducing medical errors.
Medical errors negatively impact on the quality of services offered by medical organizations. The implications relate to vicarious and corporate liabilities. As such, public reporting and value based purchasing methods can be used to improve the quality of services offered to clients and as a result lead to reduced medical errors and improved patient satisfaction.
Abdel-Latif, Mohamed. “Knowledge of Healthcare Professionals about Medication Errors in Hospitals.” Journal of Basic and Clinical Pharmacy, vol. 7, no. 3, 2016, 7-92. doi:10.4103/0976-0105.183264.
Delacroix, Romuald. “Exploring the Experience of Nurse Practitioners Who Have Committed Medical Errors: A Phenomenological Approach.” Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, vol. 29, no. 7, 2017, 403-409. doi:10.1002/2327-6924.12468.
Oyebode, Femi. “Clinical Errors and Medical Negligence.” Medical Principles and Practice: International Journal of the Kuwait University, Health Science Centre, vol. 22, no. 4, 2013, 323-333. doi: 10.1159/000346296.