Medical Errors

A rather frequent event that occurs to in-hospital patients is clinical deterioration, especially briefly following their hospital admission. One of the indicators for patient’s early clinical deterioration is the activation of the Rapid Response Systems within 48 hours of patient’s admission. Based on a recent study conducted in the USA, not even the severity of illness, functional status and comorbidities could be the predictors for such events. However, the same study revealed an interesting finding. “Medical Errors” were the second most alleged cause for patients’ early clinical deterioration (Wang et al., 2017).

“Medical Errors” is not a new concept. However, it still is an ongoing problem and requires more attention. Considering the fact that ward nurses are predominantly the first responders to clinical deterioration (Härkänen et al., 2016, Psirides et al., 2016), more attention needs to be placed on their education and a culture of swift reporting of deterioration developed.

SLIPPS project targets students in different disciplines including nursing to raise awareness of patient safety. It assesses students’ critical observations and perceptions on patient safety events that occur during their experience at the healthcare organizations. The hope is not only to learn from the previous mistakes, but also to embed a culture of reporting of patient safety incidents among the students, who soon will be the future workforce.



Härkänen, M., Turunen, H., Saano, S., Vehviläinen-Julkunen, K. 2015, ”Detecting medication errors: Analysis based on a hospital’s incident reports”, International Journal of Nursing Practice, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 141-146.

Psirides, A.J., Hill, J. & Jones, D. 2016, “Rapid Response Team activation in New Zealand hospitals-a multicentre prospective observational study”, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 391-397.

Wang, J., Hahn, S.S., Kline, M. & Cohen, R.I. 2017, “Early in-hospital clinical deterioration is not predicted by severity of illness, functional status, or comorbidity”, International journal of general medicine, vol. 10, pp. 329-334.


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