A medical error is a failure of the planned action to be completed as intended, or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim. An error may be an act of commission or an act of omission. An adverse event results in unintended harm to the patient by the act of commission of omission rather than by the underlying disease or condition of the patient.
The medical errors occur all over the world including USA, but much more often in Indian conditions. The effort to minimize their occurrence is required in India. Indian hospitals especially public hospitals need to inculcate a sense of care and concern for the sick and have to learn how to be responsible to a human being who comes before them in distress.
In the development of the delivery of safe care, emerging technologies need to be developed to improve safety. These include electronic prescribing that automates the medication ordering process; clinical decision-support systems, which may include suggestions or default values for drug doses and checks for drug allergies, drug laboratory values, and drug interactions; automated dispensing systems that dispense medications electronically in a controlled fashion and track medication use, bar coding for positive identification of patients, prescriptions, and medications; and computerized adverse drug event alert monitors that search patient databases for data that may indicate the presence of adverse drug events. It is important to recognize/monitor the ubiquitous nature of the use of prescription and OTC drugs and of complementary, alternative medications or home remedies.
In this book on Patient Safety in Hospitals the authors have studied various aspects of medical errors and reviewed the literature on the subject to ensure negligence free hospitals.