Patient Care and Safety - Health Education - DesiMD Healthcare - India

Patient Care and Safety

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 9 Dec 2015 - 10:14
World Patient Safety Day is observed on December 9, every year. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about patient safety among healthcare professionals, patients and people in general in all parts of the world. Patient Safety is one of the core principles of treatment of a patient but has been an area of concern for various reasons all over the world.
Hospitals and Clinics are institutions provide round the clock treatment to people who are sick, but these 24/7 treatments can become life threatening when safety precautions are not followed. Therefore it’s important to understand and follow some Patient Safety measures as part of health care services. 
Why is Patient Safety a concern?
According to WHO, one in every ten patients is affected by inadequate care. A range of errors and adverse events can harm the patient and put their safety in jeopardy. The Health Care System has become extremely complex due to technological advancements and this complexity has given rise to Patient Safety Challenges for health care staff. While several measures are taken for patient safety, still there is a scope of one odd case of negligence.
Patient Safety Issues: 

Issues faced by Healthcare professionals include:
  • Diagnostic Errors include wrong, missed or unintentional delayed diagnosis.
  • Hospital Acquired Infections which occur during patient’s hospitalization and subsequent follow-up treatment.
  • Errors in Medications when a patient gets the wrong medication or receives the right medication but wrong dosage.
  • Re-admissions situation arises when a patient has to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged, due to patient care and safety lapses.
  • Wrong-Site Surgery when an operation is done on the wrong part of the body or on a completely different person.
  • Miscommunication with a lack of proper and timely communication between the hospital workers, the patients and doctors.
How can Healthcare professionals ensure proper patient safety?
  • Ensuring proper patient identity with patient coding/ labelling for easy recognition.
  • Not using abbreviations while writing medicine prescriptions and use capital letters so that it is easy for the patients to understand.
  • Training, refresher sessions for healthcare professionals and team building activities can help in reducing such errors, as it tends to build trust and confidence among the healthcare staff.
  • Reducing patient harm during hospitalization with proper and up to the standard Healthcare Infrastructure 
  • Using visible and effective signages to avoid unnecessary delays during hospitalization. 
  • Ensuring that there is a seamless transfer of information when handing over/taking over patients especially during shifts.
  • Adhering to Standard Operative Procedure (SOP) to facilitate patient’s safety and engage the patient and the patient's family in the patient care.
  • Inculcating the habit of rational use of medicine by doctors so that over prescription can be avoided.

    How can patients be responsible for their own safety?

  • Patients should assist the hospital staff by sharing all the personal health data including any allergies and family history accurately.
  • Questions must be asked when in doubt about the diagnosis or any other doubt you may have without hesitating. If not satisfied by the answer, it’s preferred you seek a second opinion on your medical condition and diagnosis.
  • Get clarification about the pros and cons of the prescribed medical procedure or medication and the side effects.

General Precautions for Healthcare Professional, Patients and their Families:

  • Practicing Hand Hygiene:Wash and sanitize hands frequently when providing any kind of care to the patients.
  • Using Gloves: Wear gloves when coming in contact with the patient.
  • Using Facial Protection:Wear a surgical mask, eye wear or face shield while treating the patient.
  • Sanitizing of Linen:Proper sterilization of linen before every use prevents spread of infection and diseases
  • Using of Disposable Needles:Dispose the contaminated needles after every use and use a fresh needle for every use.
  • Sanitzing of Patient Care Equipment:Clean and disinfect all the reusable equipments before and after using it.
  • Waste Disposal:Proper disposal of biomedical waste (waste produced in the hospital) should be ensured to prevent spread of in-house infections (hospital infections).
  • General Etiquette:Always covering the nose/mouth while coughing / sneezing. Inculcating the use of tissues and handkerchiefs.



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