A research article titled “Discussion of Medical Errors in Morbidity and Mortality Conferences” written by Pierluissi, Fischer, Campbell, and Landefeld investigates the frequency of discussions about adverse errors and events that usually occur in medicine and surgery. The authors raise an important question regarding the mistakes that can lead to adverse events or even the death of the patient. The information was collected by a trained observer, who has attended 332 conferences related to morbidity and mortality from July 2000 till April 2001. Internal medicine conferences lasted three times longer compared to surgery conferences.
However, the discussion of adverse events and errors was longer in the case of surgery conferences. Also, surgery conferences paid more attention to the discussion of errors and their attribution to a particular cause. The authors came to the conclusion that the mortality and morbidity conferences might have included modeling of error recognition both in surgery and internal medicine (Pierluissi et al. 2838). The article clearly shows that errors and cases with adverse consequences in internal medicine should be more frequently discussed to avoid future issues and mistakes.
There is a lack of discussion of errors leading to adverse events in internal medicine cases compared to surgery. It is widely known that any surgery is a dangerous intervention into a human body that can lead to mortality and morbidity cases. The results of the article show that the surgery conferences included more adverse cases (72%) than adverse events shown in internal medicine presentations (37%) (Pierluissi et al. 2839). At the same time, the adverse events related to an error had a similar proportion in internal medicine and surgery. It clearly indicates that errors in internal medicine happen at the same rate as in surgery. However, adverse events in internal medicine cases are less discussed than in surgery cases. Thus, there is a need for more discussions and analysis of errors in internal medicine, as in the case of surgery.
Errors in internal medicine are as severe as in surgery. There is a 15% chance that diagnosis in internal medicine includes errors (Graber et al. 1494). The diagnosis is essential for further treatment of the patient. Also, diagnosis errors will consequently lead to medication errors, which is significant for patient safety. Errors in internal medicine can occur both due to medical workers and technical issues. Also, the unusual demonstration of disease can lead to errors in diagnosis.
Thus, there is a wide range of errors in internal medicine, which indicates that there is a high chance for those errors to occur. Moreover, a study by Garber et al. shows that out of 90 cases with errors in internal medicine, 33 cases resulted in the death of the patient (1495). Hence, the errors in internal medicine lead to severe consequences, including the death of some patients. The potential frequency of errors and significance of their’ outcomes clearly shows that errors in internal medicine are as dangerous and important as errors in surgery.
The research article being reviewed raises an important issue related to errors in internal medicine and surgery. The study concluded that surgery errors are more discussed in mortality and morbidity conferences. Also, the study clearly shows the lack of attention and discussion of errors in internal medicine. Moreover, errors in internal medicine carry as serious and dangerous consequences as surgery cases. Thus, even though the adverse consequences in internal medicine are less frequently noticed compared to surgery, the adverse event cases in internal medicine should be as seriously discussed and analyzed as in the case of surgery. It will definitely contribute to the future elimination of adverse events due to errors in internal medicine.
Graber, Mark L., et al. “Diagnostic Error in Internal Medicine.” Archives of Internal Medicine, vol. 165, no. 13, 2005, pp. 1493-1499. Jama Network. Web.
Pierluissi, Edgar, et al. “Discussion of Medical Errors in Morbidity and Mortality Conferences.” Jama, vol. 290, no. 21, 2003, pp. 2838-2842. Jama Network. Web.