I have just read an article by the BBC reporting that around 43,000 people in England and Wales may have been wrongly told their Covid-19 test was negative because of errors at a private laboratory.
This isn’t the first time the NHS has come under fire for producing wrong test results.
In 2017 an NHS Trust had a series of wrong blood in tube (WBIT) incidents in their maternity unit. Incidents like this can occur when blood samples are taken from patients and are either mis collected (blood is taken from the wrong patient but labelled with the correct patient details) or mislabelled (blood is taken from the intended patient but labelled with the incorrect patient details). In 2018 the same Trust had a further four WBIT incidents in the maternity unit.
So why in 2021 are we still issuing wrong test results to thousands of people? Another repeated mistake!
Could it be that the very process which when first created, streamlined the task it set out to detangle, is now out of date and allows little room for staff to apply common sense and hasn’t been updated to fit the ever changing environment in which it serves.
I believe if we change our perception of process, removing the fear and embracing change, empower staff and give them the tools to take ownership of process, create a mechanism where the process can evolve over time, then we could see a radical change in the quality of our service offering and this could be the start of something great!