When actor Dennis Quaid’s 12-day-old twins nearly died as a result of a medication mix-up a few years ago, it brought to light an on-going and serious problem for hospitals: dispensing the wrong medications to patients.
Herman Miller has been working closely with hospitals for many years to help health care professionals find ways to reduce what are known as “adverse drug events.” A new Herman Miller Solution Essay, “Making Medication Dispensing Safer for All,” discusses the common causes of drug errors — from interruptions to poorly designed med dispensing rooms — and offers advice on what hospitals can do to prevent or mitigate them.
One of the most interesting aspects of all this is the study of “human factors;” that is, human capabilities and/or limitations that may have an impact on any given situation, from the person’s age to his or her reaction to stress. The idea, of course, is to learn all we can about why people make mistakes in the first place, so we can design work environments that help prevent them from doing so. Or, as the U.S. Institute of Medicine once put it, “make it easy for people to do the right thing and hard for them to do the wrong thing.”
Check out the latest Solution Essay to learn more about how Herman Miller helped two hospitals improve their processes.