As the healthcare industry continues to transform, the number of roles involved in providing care increases. From physicians to nurses and pharmacists, these professionals are now working together under the umbrella of healthcare. This transformation has increased the number of roles and positions that need to be filled. This has created a need for competent healthcare professionals. As a result, the demand for healthcare professionals has become robust. However, with the influx of applicants, the standards have also increased. This means that the number of incompetent healthcare professionals has also gone up. With the increasing number of applicants and the need for competence, it is not surprising that so many healthcare professionals make mistakes. The frequency with which these mistakes are being made is alarming. Let’s take a look at why staff makes these mistakes.
Overworking and Overtime
One of the reasons why healthcare professionals make mistakes, especially in hospitals, is because they are overworked and understaffed. In one hospital, it was found that the ratio of nurses to patients was 1:14. This means that many of the nurses were overworked and overtired. When people are tired, they are more likely to make mistakes, affecting their concentration level. Another reason staff makes mistakes is a lack of training and education. For example, at a hospital in Boston, a patient died from sepsis because the doctor failed to diagnose it properly. The reason for this mistake? The physician had never been trained on how to identify sepsis symptoms. A third reason staff makes mistakes is low morale or burn-out related to changes in healthcare. For example, the Affordable Care Act has led many doctors to leave their careers because reimbursement rates have not been increased accordingly. As a result, these hospitals struggle to fill vacancies left by physicians who have quit due to lower earnings and benefits packages. The fourth reason for mistakes is simply lack of experience or knowledge in various fields such as nursing or pharmacy despite being qualified in other areas like medicine or surgery. With the increased demand for healthcare professionals, there has also been an increase in applicants who do not necessarily possess all skills necessary for the job but fulfill most requirements and qualifications needed for the position on paper. With all these reasons for errors among healthcare professionals, credentialing becomes even more critical.
Lack of Credentialing and Re-Credentialing
One of the most common reasons healthcare professionals make mistakes is that they are not credentialed. Healthcare professionals need to be credentialed to practice their profession. Without this, there is a chance that they will make mistakes. It is essential for healthcare professionals to have credentials and re-credentialing because it ensures that they are qualified and competent. Credentialing focuses on meeting professional standards and evaluating the level of competency of a medical professional. This process ensures that healthcare providers are up-to-date on their knowledge and skills and healthy enough to provide care to patients. Re-credentialing also helps to ensure that healthcare providers maintain their competencies to provide quality care. The process provides opportunities for continuing education and other health endeavors while monitoring an individual’s physical condition, like drug use, mental health, and more. There are many reasons staff make mistakes in the healthcare industry, but one of the most common is lack of credentialing or re-credentialing. The frequency with which these mistakes happen suggests that this may be worth looking into more closely.
One of the main reasons healthcare professionals make mistakes is that they are not adequately trained. The staffing issue arises when hospitals or physicians are short staffed, meaning there is not enough time to prepare them properly. Staffing issues can also occur if there is a lack of qualified applicants to fill open positions. Without the proper skills, staff members will be less efficient at doing their job, leading to more mistakes on the job. Another reason for staff error is because they are overworked. A common misconception among hospital staff members is that they need to do their best and never leave unfinished tasks. This can cause physicians and nurses to work long hours without breaks or eating time. When under this pressure, healthcare professionals may falter in their duties and make mistakes due to exhaustion and stress. A final reason staff might make mistakes is that they are not given the resources they need to complete a task—whether equipment or supplies. Healthcare professionals need all the right resources to do their job well; without these items, they will struggle with maintaining quality care for patients.
Book Smart, Patient Care Idiot
I am sure we all have worked with someone whose skills question one to think, how did they even base their state licensure? So true, we all know of some people like this. they are smart taking tests, knowing the materials, but when it comes to implementing their skill level and knowledge, they simply fail. The problem with this is that in our desperation to fill positions, one looks to the licensure of the staff person to be the end of all. But, the reality is you could be hurting yourself far greater than just leaving the position unfilled. It is a tough market, one that requires a lot of patience and integrity for sure!
Disorganization and Unable to Manage Workload
There are two probable causes for the frequency of errors committed by healthcare staff. They are disorganization and an inability to manage workload. The first cause can be attributed to time constraints and a lack of resources to complete tasks promptly. With so many healthcare professionals managing different aspects of care, it can be not easy to manage your time correctly or prioritize tasks effectively. The result is that these professionals end up making mistakes in their work. The second cause can be attributed to high patient loads and mental fatigue. A busy schedule is not the only thing that has caused these professionals to make mistakes; they also struggle with mental exhaustion caused by a long shift. This means they may have missed something important or didn't handle a situation properly because they were mentally exhausted. Many physicians will re-credential themselves after a mistake has been made to ensure that this does not happen again. When credentials are revoked, physicians often lose the opportunity to practice medicine elsewhere, leading them down the path of re-credentialing themselves at other hospitals for more experience before reapplying for credentialing at their previous hospital or medical facility.
Lack of Ongoing Training and Awareness
One of the most common mistakes made by healthcare professionals is a lack of ongoing training and awareness. Most medical professionals undergo credentialing as part of their educational process. This process occurs at the time of graduation and is done to assess the student’s understanding of the program material and their ability to apply it in real-life scenarios. Throughout this process, students are given multiple assessments that test their knowledge. After graduating, many physicians will receive continuing education (CE). In some cases, they may need to be re-credentialed if they want to continue practicing medicine or change specialties within medicine. A good number of states require that physicians take CE courses annually while they are licensed in that state. While these new regulations have been put into place, it is not enough to ensure that healthcare professionals are well versed in their practice area. There needs to be more emphasis placed on ongoing training for all healthcare providers with regularly scheduled CE courses for doctors and nurses. By requiring ongoing training, healthcare professionals will better understand how best practices are applied in the field and what can be changed or improved upon when providing care to patients.
Credentialing and re-credentialing physicians is an essential responsibility for healthcare staffing organizations. Without the time, resources, and tools for this process, patient safety can be negatively impacted. Credentialing and re-credentialing physicians can be time-consuming, but it is an essential responsibility for healthcare organizations to uphold. Healthcare organizations can start with an annual review of their physician staff to ensure that all doctors are credentialed, re-credentialed, and up-to-date on all training. Regular evaluations of physician staff are necessary to avoid mistakes that can cause patient harm.