Studies in human and veterinary medicine have provided this crucial insight—voluntary reporting systems don’t always catch workplace errors. This is unfortunate, as the only way to truly solve medical and safety errors is through communication.
When working in complex environments, the odds of committing errors increase. For the most part, errors are system problems. We can all fix and prevent these problems with the proper practices and approaches. Let’s take a closer look at the most common errors in vet clinics.
Errors Affecting Patients: Medical Concerns
Every medical practice has the potential to make errors—and it’s not all about carelessness. Even the best institutions can struggle, and veterinary settings are not immune to common healthcare pitfalls. Anything can happen during the workday.
That being said, some of the most common errors in vet clinics involve incidents with patient care. These incidents could comprise medication errors, systemic errors, communication errors, lab errors, equipment errors, or staff oversight. When the worst happens, such as a medication switch-up, the patient should always come first. After caring for the patient, the involved staff will need support to move forward.
Errors Affecting Staff: Safety Concerns
Providing safe, quality patient care is the main priority for veterinary facilities. Comparably, maintaining employee health and safety is a main priority for management. Veterinary clinics and hospitals are required under OSHA to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their staff. Each practice is responsible for ensuring protocols are in place to prevent injuries or illnesses. However, some vet practices can fall short on compliance due to a lack of proper education.
Inadequate safety training is one of the most common OSHA violations in vet practices. Consistent, structured training provides opportunities for comprehension and reinforcement about best practices and procedures. Staff training should instill confidence.
Vet clinics can benefit from addressing concerns and working to fix internal system flaws. Corrective action now can reduce the possibility of medical and safety errors in the future.