When it comes to medical mistakes, understanding how and why they happen is critical to preventing them. Each year, the Minnesota Department of Health releases a report addressing medical errors across the state. The incidence of these errors has trended slightly upward since 2014. Last year, that trend continued, with 341 total errors resulting in 103 injuries and 12 patient deaths.
Nurses play an indispensable role in our health care system. They provide round-the-clock care for patients with fragile (and often life-threatening) health conditions. They administer medications, change dressings, insert catheters and IVs, lift and transfer patients, keep meticulous records and much more. Nurses serve as tireless advocates for their patients, and they're a vital link in keeping paths of communication clear.