Patient Safety is defined as the discipline in health care system. It includes safety methods used to deliver a trustworthy and effective health care service. Patient safety can also be defined as an important attribute of health care system that when implemented could minimize the incidence of adverse events and their effects in the health care system and thus maximizes the chances of recovery of patients from any such event if happens. Here are some key points that must be considered for implementing comprehensive patient safety. World Health Organization (WHO) has a guideline regarding patient safety that is getting considered in different health care institutes.
Key points for patient safety
- The focus should be on safety on quality- Often health care professionals find it difficult to find the thin line of difference between safety and quality. With more and more institutes talking about quality concern issues it is quite confusing for the health care professional to distinguish between safety and quality aspects. While the focus is on quality, the stress is given on value-based purchasing for cost-control but the ultimate focus should be on those components that are needed for the safety of the patients. Quality gets defined in multiple ways and that results in the misunderstanding between physicians, executives and hospital staff members is deciding what exactly the goals of the organization are.
- Creating a work culture that will encourage self-reporting
In any health care institute, if the culture of self-reporting of errors is encouraged it is bound to improve safety of the patients. The staff should not have a punitive feeling. Any health care institute cannot afford to have a zero-tolerance policy because it will make the staffs that are at fault or could not deliver optimum level of patient safety, to hide their errors. Encouraging self reporting will encourage the staffs to learn from their mistakes. Creating a culture of honesty is important and those staff members should be appreciated and protected.
- Employee survey
A very important component of patient safety is to have regular employee survey so that level of safety of the patients in the hospitals could be gauzed. It is better to have a professional company to conduct the survey so that hospitals and other health care institutes could improve. They cannot improve if they are not sure where to start from. In most of the surveys, the communication between the nurses and the practitioner was the major issue. Prescriptions having illegible writings, hand-delivered orders to the pharmacy, sending the prescriptions without cross-checking were the major problems and kept patient safety at a stake. Once these problems get identified, they could be resolved.
- Update Infrastructure
Hospitals and health care institutes have to improve their infrastructure as per modern standards. Using the latest technology is an important aspect of it. It is also important that medical practitioners use these systems. Any updates or switching over to a new system should be done slowly so that possible errors and harm to patients could be avoided. A slow and careful automation process can ensure unparallel patient safety and increase the comfort level of the people who are using the system.