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02.07.08 13:44

Society requires: True about malpractice

A comment from NETWORK-Speaker Dirk Brandl to the current debate in Germany...

A topic has appeared recently in numerous German printed presses about mistakes made by members of the medical profession during treatment. The main focus is on the fact doctors are not incline to admitting to their mistakes.
It is welcome to see that distinguished doctors admitting to the mistakes and therefore taken over the pioneering role in developing a way in dealing with mistakes. The spoken problem requires precise consideration because hits the nerve of our living together as a society.
When we ask doctors to develop a new way in dealing with mistakes, should we not point the finger at ourselves first? Is it not so, that because of public pressure every decision maker is forced to conceal or sweep the mistakes under the carpet? Don’t our children learn that making a mistake causes a foreboding feeling? Where can mistakes be made without fear of being punished?
The people in our modern industrial society are placed under increasing pressure, which leads to excesses like mobbing at work, spying from company management or higher business competition pressure. This problem has been identified for a few years and discussed within our network. To confront today’s separation and competition with tomorrow’s necessities for teamwork and cooperation, is a changing process. It is not feasible though moral appeal, then this counteracts existential worries and necessities.

The situation worsens for doctors for 2 reasons:
• The doctor can make a mistake, which could lead to a serious health, sometimes irreparable damage or worse to death.
• Every admitted mistake could lead the doctor to a legal case or dispute.

Mistakes in many business areas could lead to severe consequences. That could lead lose of job, friends or relationships. With doctors there is a lot more at stake, existential and career lose. As long as no conditions are generated by us, that allow a different way of dealing with mistakes, the worse we could expect from a doctor that he places himself in the pillory.
Therefore there is a different way for dealing with mistakes urgently required. Mistakes are a big learning motivation when it is properly used. Others learn from others mistakes and prevent the same mistakes been made. Societies can blossom from mistakes, handling mistakes is requirement for every nation in todays advanced globalisation process. There is too much at stake because when the necessary awareness is deployed other processes must follow, like changes of the legal conditions, introduction of new content in our education institutions.
In the NETWORK we have identified coherences and aspects implemented. As a lone fighter is a doctor in the long term doomed to failure. Cooperation and working together produces synergy that everyone profits from. A splendid example for this is how doctors in the NETWORK deal with treatment mistakes that of course can happen. The member can enter his mistake in the analysis form and report it to the NETWORK. The workgroup Intricacies and treatment errors studies the situation and recommends therapies and then informs all other members of what they should look for so that this mistake does not happen to them. This sort of approach can only be accepted when the doctor who made this error is not threatened with sanctions. This attitude is important for the doctor, the development of the therapy and the safety of the patients.


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