Patient Safety: How Mock Surveys Can Help Reduce Errors

Key takeaways:

  • A study by the British Medical Journal found that over 9.5% of deaths are caused by medical errors making it the third leading cause of death in the United States1.
  • Mock surveys offer opportunity to streamline workflow, gain consensus on protocols, ensure standardization in patient care, and promote a safe clinical environment. 

As modern medicine advances, so too does our understanding of just how much human error can impact patient care. After all, tracking medical errors was not necessarily a priority before the days of safety protocols or procedural standardization. Still, the impact of human error on quality of care can be significant in that a 2016 study by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) “found that more than 9.5% of deaths in the United States are due to medical error”1. With no ICD codes to track medical errors, following strict safety regulations enables clinical leaders to simultaneously protect patients while also preparing for any unplanned regulatory surveys.    

Between state and federal regulations, it sometimes seems like the regulations governing healthcare compliance are in a constant state of flux. And while these recurrent regulation reforms are well-intentioned, they can create gaps in hospital compliance for even the most well-researched clinical leaders. For this reason, mock surveys have proven themselves to be excellent tools for hospital leaders to better understand where their organization may be experiencing gaps between compliance and protocols. After all, “a good mock survey instantly delivers concise, evidence-based content entries directly to clinicians, enhances interprofessional coordination, and helps ensure standardization and consistency of patient care across the organization”1. A well-run mock survey:

  • Streamlines the electronic health record–based care delivery process with links to critical health information
  • Trains new nursing staff on the latest procedures and skills and ensures that equipment and drugs are clean, readily available, and regularly inspected
  • Reviews policies, procedures, and personnel files to ensure up-to-date compliance
  • Inspects the physical aspects of the organization to ensure safety and compliance to various codes
  • Examines and investigates the hospital’s contracts for goods, services, and personnel to ensure hospital and vendor compliance with standards, codes, and regulations1

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In case you missed it:


1Curtin, L. (February 2019) Errors, care, and the bottom line


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