Critical Decision Making and Competent Problem Solving

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The Importance of Critical Decision Making in Healthcare

The lives of many patients often depend on competent decision making by health care providers. For that reason, they should ensure that they continuously improve on their critical decision-making abilities and other care associated judgments. Critical decision making and competent problem solving is a component that should, therefore, be integrated into any care provision or clinical setting (Barry, Chan, Moulton, Sah, Simmons, & Braddock, 2013).

The Consequences of Not Reporting Safety Concerns

That being said, the ultimate goal of every healthcare professional is not only to ensure the safety of every client or patient they meet but also those they do not come into contact with. Consequently, all care providers are obligated to report any safety concern that they come across be it abuse, professional error, or even water spillage on the hospital floors. Failure by care providers to correctly report safety concerns to the right departments can lead to a situation where a patient or even another care provider is harmed. As a matter of fact, research indicates that over six hundred people die each day as a result of preventable hospital errors (Allen, & Pierce, 2016).

The Impact of Not Reporting Safety Concerns on the Hospital

This paper discusses critical decision making, the effect of care providers not reporting safety concerns, the impact that this has on the hospital, and how these oversights by staff can be kept to a minimum or eliminated.

The Importance of Continuous Honing of Critical Decision Making and Problem-Solving Skills

Care providers and other healthcare professionals dutifully follow strict predetermined schedules, processes, and procedures often without pausing to question those that get in the way of safety as exemplified by Mike. That is why every care provider should continuously hone their critical decision making and problem-solving skills because lack of these abilities or skills can lead to patient injuries, litigation, and even loss of life. Take Mike, for instance, in a bid to avoid being late he failed to make the right decision on what to do with the spillage and opted instead to ignore it. Mike’s oversight resulted in the injury of a patient. Critical decision making, therefore, enables care providers like Mike to adequately meet the needs of their patients especially in situations where there are many competing courses of action to take. Similarly, these skills also enable care providers to better handle uncertain situations. Critical decision-making skills, therefore, help providers to consider their decisions reflectively and assess and understand every task they perform. In other words, critical decision-making arm care providers with the cognitive, evaluation, analyzing, discriminating, and information gathering skills that enable them to make sound and logical decisions (Benner, Hughes, & Sutphen, 2008).

The Consequences of Not Reporting Safety Concerns on Hospital Safety and Well-being

Failing to report a safety concerns means that the hazard is not assessed and, therefore, not addressed as it should, therefore, increasing the likelihood of that hazard becoming worse over time and hurting even more people; this can in the long run lead to considerable penalties to not only to the hospital but also to the care providers, in this case, Mike. Some safety concerns can admittedly stay for a very long time without causing much harm to anybody; however, not reporting them can create a sense of complacency or a poor work ethic among care providers which can, in turn, impact the hospital negatively over time. Reporting safety hazards as soon as they are discovered is, therefore, critical to the safety and wellbeing of care providers, the patients, as well as the hospital.

The Effects of Not Reporting Safety Concerns on Hospital Metrics

The decision to not report caused the injury of a patient; this hurt the productivity and increased the workload of the department in the hospital that had to treat the injured patient. Secondly, patient satisfaction is an important hospital metric that gauges how a patient is satisfied with their stay in the hospital; hospital incidents, on the other hand, is a metric that measures the ability of a hospital to provide care without patients acquiring new infections both these metrics were negatively impacted by Mike’s failure to appropriately report the safety hazard. That being said, court cases are a likely outcome when safety hazards in a hospital cause serious injury or even death; and even if the institution wins the case, the expenses related to fighting the case can be detrimental to the hospital; a serious injury or death of a patient can, for instance, force the hospital to pay thousands or even millions of dollars to the affected patient, their families or both; this can especially be devastating to a small or medium-sized institution. In addition to that, court cases can harm the institution’s reputation in the way of negative publicity and so forth. That being said, safety hazards are inevitable and can have negative impacts on patients, care providers, and even the institution’s quality metrics. Putting in place processes and systems that ensure patient safety from accidental injury is, therefore, absolutely important.

The Role of Hospital Leadership in Preventing Mistakes

Hospital leadership is vital in ensuring that care providers do not make mistakes in their decisions or judgments. Hospital leadership must, therefore, ensure that care providers do not only collaborate but also communicate better. Effective communication and collaboration are essential in determining whether safe and quality care can be achieved. To avoid recurrence of errors and to ensure caregivers do not make mistakes hospital leadership should ensure that systems are in place that enable care providers to communicate important information to the next care provider. They should also put in place systems and processes that enable the hospital to monitor, assess, and evaluate errors to avert a repetition of those errors or mistakes in the future. Capturing and reporting all possible safety hazards, not only those that can be reported can help reduce or even eliminate the likelihood of similar hazards happening in the future.


Allen, M., & Pierce, O. (2016). Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause of US Deaths, Researchers Say

Barry, M. J., Chan, E., Moulton, B., Sah, S., Simmons, M. B., & Braddock, C. (2013). Disclosing conflicts of interest in patient decision aids. BMC medical informatics and decision making, 13(2), S3.

Benner, P., Hughes, R. G., & Sutphen, M. (2008). Clinical reasoning, decisionmaking, and action: Thinking critically and clinically.

October 13, 2023

Health Life


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