Safety and Ethics in Healthcare: A Guide to Getting It Right

Safety and Ethics in Healthcare: A Guide to Getting It Right

by Bill Runciman, Merrilyn Walton, Alan Merry
     
 

ISBN-10: 0754644359

ISBN-13: 9780754644354

Pub. Date: 02/01/2007

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited

As more and more people survive into old age, the burden of caring for them becomes greater and greater. Although it is now possible to alleviate many of the afflictions that beset mankind, no society can afford to pay for all the healthcare that is now available or technically possible. People working in healthcare increasingly have to do more with less. Rationing

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Overview

As more and more people survive into old age, the burden of caring for them becomes greater and greater. Although it is now possible to alleviate many of the afflictions that beset mankind, no society can afford to pay for all the healthcare that is now available or technically possible. People working in healthcare increasingly have to do more with less. Rationing takes many forms, mostly covert, and the less privileged in most societies end up struggling to get their proper share of the available healthcare resources. All too often, those in the front-line have to deal with the consequences of this 'rationing by default': healthcare professionals find themselves rushed off their feet simply doing the basic tasks and completing all the paperwork; placing frail, sick people in ever lengthening queues, sometimes asking them to wait for hours in the middle of the night under uncomfortable and even unsafe conditions; and, worst of all, working under conditions they would rather avoid in which the safety margin for those they are caring for has been greatly diminished. We are all aware that under these conditions the chance of making a mistake which can seriously harm or even lead to the death of a patient is greatly increased. But what can be done about this? How can you be sure that you are doing the right thing when faced with having to practise an uncertain science on vulnerable patients in a complex system under ever-changing conditions? At what point could you cross the invisible line from reasonable to irresponsible or unethical behaviour by tolerating conditions or tacitly accepting practices which may be regarded as unacceptable, even though you may have little immediate control over them? This book is a guide to getting it right for healthcare professionals. It is about doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, for the right people. These are the dimensions of quality in healthcare, and although some are in conflict (equitable access and efficiency, for example), adherence to ethical practice and professional behaviour will help lead healthcare practitioners through the minefield of responsibilities and priorities. Real-life situations are integral to the book, with over 500 clinical examples referred to within the text.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780754644354
Publisher:
Ashgate Publishing, Limited
Publication date:
02/01/2007
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword; Preface. Part 1 What is Wrong with Healthcare: Setting the stage: an overview of healthcare; Risk and the harm caused by healthcare; Healthcare: a dysfunctional system; Naming, blaming and shaming. Part 2 Understanding the Basics: Human error and complex systems; Knowing what to do; Ethics, professional behaviour and regulation. Part 3 What to Do When Things Go Wrong: When things go wrong: looking after the people involved; When things go wrong: preventing a recurrence. Part 4 Preventing Things from Going Wrong: Getting the best out of people; Getting the best out of the system; Where to now? Appendices: Preferred terms and definitions for key safety and quality concepts; Public expenditure on healthcare in selected countries; Risk matrix; Evidence-based medicine: sources of information; International code of medical ethics; Jonsen's ethics framework; Severity assessment code (SAC); The advanced incident monitoring system (AIMS); Soft systems methodology (SSM); Sources of information for patients. Index.

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