Nine Potential Causes of Medical Errors

Abhishek S
Published in
2 min readJan 25, 2021


1.Fundamental difficulties in medical care

Balancing act of over-testing and under-testing 

Too much information — impossible to stay up-to-date 

Lack of time

2. Medical industry system problems 

Under-funded care 

Inefficiency of use of funds 

Over-worked physicians 

Slow adoption of technology 

Failure to report medical errors for fear of lawsuits 

Unnecessary medical tests for fear of lawsuits

3. Physician mistakes 

Human mistakes 

Alcohol or drug abuse 

Poor handwriting 

Poor dosage instructions

4. Patient mistakes 

Failure to report symptoms 

Delay in reporting symptoms 

Failure to report medications 

Non-compliance with treatment plans 

Dishonesty: Fraud, hypochondria 

Fear: Legal, social 

Patient pressure on physicians

5. Pharmacist mistakes 

Wrong medication 

Similar labels and packaging 

Similar medication names 

Wrong dosage 

Failure to communicate instructions

6. Pathology laboratory mistakes 

Errors in sample labeling 

Cross-contamination during testing 

Inherent risks in tests — false positives and negatives 

Limitations of tests for certain patients 

Human error in examining slides

7. Pharmaceutical industry mistakes 

Naming similarities 

Inadequate safety testing

8. Hospital mistakes 

Nosocomial infections 

Surgical mistakes : Errors in transferring and re-labeling of medications

Medication errors: Wrong medication, wrong dosage, wrong patient, wrong time

9. Surgical mistakes 

Wrong surgery 

Right surgery, wrong site 

Medication error before, during or after surgery has a patient centric mission to make sure these mistakes do not happen when you are going for a surgery and beyond. Let us know if you are in need of superlative care for yourself or your loved ones.