Improving intravenous fluid prescribing

Intravenous (IV) fluid therapy is integral to the care of patients in hospitals but involves complex decisions. Errors in fluid prescribing are common, leading to significant harm due to inappropriate fluid type, rate or volume. British national guidelines have been developed to improve prescribing, but adherence has been generally poor. The Scottish Government has set up a National IV Fluid Improvement Programme to implement national guidelines throughout Scotland.

Patient safety symposium review: Better clinical decision making and reducing diagnostic error

A major amount of our time working in clinical practice involves thinking and decision making. Perhaps it is because decision making is such a commonplace activity that it is assumed we can all make effective decisions. However, this is not the case and the example of diagnostic error supports this assertion. Until quite recently there has been a general nihilism about the ability to change the way that we think, but it is now becoming accepted that if we can think about, and understand, our thinking processes we can improve our decision

The TOS study: can we use our patients to help improve clinical assessment?

Background: We believe that there is a need to increase awareness, particularly among foundation year doctors, of the importance of performing a full neurological examination, including ophthalmoscopy, in medical inpatients. Following a serious unexpected incident (missed papilloedema), we implemented a multifaceted intervention, including ensuring greater availability of equipment for neurological/ ophthalmological assessment, education and curriculum redesign in two large teaching hospitals in the UK.