Preventive Patient Safety Measures|Awareness
Hospitals are places which provide treatment to sick people round the clock. However, at times, the treatments could turn out to be life-threatening as well. Every process of patient care safety involves a certain amount of uncertainty. The patient safety discipline highlights the importance of preventing the harm caused by the healthcare process to the patients.
Patient safety is a healthcare regulation that emphasises the reporting, analysis, and prevention of medical errors that often lead to adverse healthcare events. As per the statistical data, healthcare errors impact 1 in every 10 patients around the world. Thus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) calls patients safety an endemic concern.
Every year World Patient Safety Day is celebrated on 9th December. The purpose of Patient Safety Day is to reform high-level support and commitment to tackle patient safety and issues related to it.
Let’s take a look at the most common harms that patients face. These harms are:
- Mistakes with Medicines – When a patient is given wrong medicine or the wrong dose of medication while in the hospital.
- Diagnostic Errors – Wrong, missed or unintentionally delayed diagnosis.
- Infections that could be Prevented – Errors that occur during patient’s hospitalization.
- Wrong Site Surgery – An operation done on the wrong part of the body or the wrong person.
- Communication – No proper communication between the hospital staff as well as between the doctor and patient.
- Readmissions – When a patient needs to return to the hospital in less than 30 days after being discharged.
Although healthcare has evolved rapidly in recent decades, there is still a significant room for improvement in certain departments.
The hospital staff can evade most of the errors by following the safety goals. The goals include:
- Identify patients correctly
- Improve effective communication
- Improve the safety of high alert medication
- Ensure right site, right patient, and right procedure surgery
- Reduce the risk of health care-associated infections
- Reduce the risk of patient harm from falls
Even the best doctor or nurse can make a tiny error with really big consequences.
So, here are the things which the patient needs to take care of:
- Speak Up – Talk to the doctor about all the questions or worries you have. Ask the doctor how he prevents surgical site infections. Also, ask how to prepare for the surgery to reduce the risk of infection.
- Keep Hands Clean – Be sure that everyone cleans their hands before touching you.
- Get Smart about Antibiotics – Ask if tests will be done to make sure the right antibiotic is prescribed.
- Know the Signs & Symptoms of Infection – Some skin infections appear as redness, pain or drainage at an IV catheter site or surgery site. Often these symptoms appear with a fever. Tell your doctor if you have such symptoms.
- Watch out for Delayed Diarrhoea – Tell your doctor if you have 3 or more diarrhoea episodes in 24 hrs, especially if you are on antibiotics.
- Protect Yourself – Get vaccinated against flu and other infections to avoid complications.
World Patient Safety Day is celebrated to make everyone safer in health care facilities. It is also a reminder that medical errors can occur due to human errors or other causes. However with the right attitude and precautions, the risk for medical errors can be minimized significantly.
Patient safety is #1 priority and everyone’s responsibility.