10 commandments for minimizing medical errors by Dr Michael Guiliano, October 6th 2008

Dr. Michael Guiliano of the Touro University School Medicine (and Director Neonatalology at the Hackensack University Medical Center) has formulated a list of 10 principles to minimize medical errors.
As you can see, one of his main themes is not just put all the trust and power in the doctor’s hands, especially a single doctor, and to involve
professionals as well as the patient and relatives in the process and give both a voice and the responsibility to contribute tot he diagnosis (and its correction).

1. I shall not *believe everything I hear* from the doctor

2. I shall first *listen* to the patient

3. I shall *not fall in love* with my first diagnosis

4. I shall *not believe everything I hear* about test results

5. I shall *explain* everything to everyone

6. I shall *involve* the patient in everything.

7. I shall *communicate* with peers precisely

8. I shall *take personal responsibility* for the patient’s clinical problem

9. I shall *not believe everything* the consults say.

10. I shall say *”I DON’T KNOW”* regularly and go get the answer

These are based on a growing body of research in both evidence-based medicine and evidence-based management.
They apply to any complex decision where there is uncertainty, people with different levels of power, different information, clashing self-interest,and severe pressure to get things right .However doctors, nurses and patients/relatives should take their responsibilities and seek true cooperation in order to achieve the best level of health care to the benefit of all involved parties, especially the patient.

With many thanks to Helen Haskell.