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Ending Kneejerk Responses to Medical Errors

Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, June 21, 2011

Everyone is responsible for their own actions and behavior. So if the investigation discovers a nurse was reckless or intentionally disregarded important safety safeguards, then the person receives punishment, such as suspensions or termination. However, incidents of intentionally reckless or criminal behavior are rare. Most incidents are completely unintentional and clinicians are devastated after making a mistake.

"You can't punish the person more than they punish themselves," says Raso. "There is nothing worse than the punishment that someone who makes a mistake inflicts on themselves."

See Also:
HHS Unveils $1B Program to Reduce Medical Errors
Time to focus on medical errors outside the hospital
Linking Medical Errors, Nurses' 12-Hour Shifts

Top 10 Most Costly, Frequent Medical Errors

7 Medical Error Disclosure Deterrents


Rebecca Hendren is a senior managing editor at HCPro, Inc. in Danvers, MA. She edits and manages The Leaders' Lounge blog for nurse managers. Email her at
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