You are proud to be a part of a healthcare system that positively affects patients daily. You are aware that your everyday labor improves the health of others. And for that very reason, you are interested in discussing patient safety measures. Isn’t enhancing patient safety the primary goal of medical care?
Yes, but it’s not as simple as it might seem. There is always space for improvement in the medical community as it expands and transforms. Occasionally, safety precautions that shield patients from harm can slip through the gaps as hospitals get bigger and busier. As a result, patient safety in hospitals is now a focus for healthcare workers dedicated to meeting their patients’ requirements and guaranteeing their safety at all times.
Continue reading to learn more about the meaning of patient safety and the elements that can assist you in safeguarding the patients who visit your hospital.
Patient safety: What is it?
Patient safety is a medical specialty developed due to the complexity of healthcare systems and the growth in medical errors in healthcare facilities. It tries to prevent and reduce risks, errors, and patient harm when providing healthcare.
Patient safety must be prioritized if high-quality, essential healthcare services are to be provided. Health services must also be efficient, affordable, and effective to obtain the benefits of high-quality medical care.
To properly apply patient safety techniques, it is necessary to have clear policies, strong leadership, data to drive safety improvements, qualified healthcare professionals, and effective patient involvement in their treatment.
For example, while performing MRI scans, hospital staff should provide patients with earplugs or headphones to reduce noise and use MRI Safe Headset Covers to avoid cross-contamination. While simultaneously preserving the durability of the headphones, they protect patients from germs, lice, and those who have sensitive skin. Patients can also listen to music through headphones to feel more comfortable.
- Utilize monitoring tools
Healthcare staff care for several patients with unique needs and prescription regimens throughout their shifts. Nurses and doctors can utilize monitoring technologies to ensure they’re constantly using the proper technique for the right patient and paying attention to each patient’s needs.
Many hospitals are already using technology to increase patient safety, such as bed alarms that alert staff if a patient falls or barcode systems that track a patient’s prescription. These monitoring technologies give hospitals a simple approach to identifying and stopping harm caused by human error.
- Educating Patients
You might believe that the healthcare professional is only responsible for patient safety, but educating patients about their care is just as crucial for reducing errors. Of course, this doesn’t imply that individuals should be as knowledgeable about their condition as a healthcare provider, but a basic grasp of the treatment and the risks can help immensely.
You are equipping them with the knowledge they need to identify and avoid errors in their care by comprehending their treatment plan, medications, and medical procedures. Patients and their families should focus on the information provided to them to keep themselves well.
There are complicated medical terms that are difficult for patients to understand. You need to use simple language to eliminate the language barrier. It will help you have clear communication and ensure that patients understand everything. However, it can be one of the major obstacles to the relationship with your patients.
According to medical experts, the language barrier is a major issue that nurses must address to improve patient care. Therefore, it is better to familiarise patients with difficult medical terms and explain them in detail.
- Verify every medical procedure
We’ve all heard the terrifying stories of patients who underwent surgery on their left knee but ended up having their right knee replaced instead. Although uncommon, These errors can be avoided by incorporating a normal verification process into healthcare procedures.
The Universal Protocol is the most well-known instance of this kind of verification. It helps reduce surgical errors by enabling any surgical team member to request a “time out” to confirm the specifics of the procedure. Verification also contributes to other facets of healthcare, such as confirming prescription dosage and timing or verifying that a practitioner washed their hands properly.
- Enforce strict cleaning procedures
When patients are having treatment for a particular medical condition, cleanliness and disinfection are crucial to preventing patients from contracting an infection.
Hospitals and other healthcare institutions can reduce the transmission of germs by routinely and thoroughly cleaning surfaces, using efficient sterilizing techniques on lab instruments and medical equipment, and practicing proper hand hygiene.
- Encourage a sense of belonging
Every single employee in a hospital contributes to keeping patients safe. Your hospital’s culture and attitude toward mistake prevention may significantly change by emphasizing teamwork and being open with staff about their part in patient safety.
Nurses and other people who have frequent direct contact with patients know the concerns but frequently feel helpless and underappreciated for their hard work. It contributes to reluctance to speak up to address patient safety concerns and foster teamwork among hospital employees. Hospitals should develop interdisciplinary risk assessment teams and communicate patient feedback and patient safety trends inside their facilities.
- Use caution when handling medications
Patient safety also includes the proper handling, distribution, and storage of medications. All drug packaging requires correct labeling, including injectables, vials, bottles, and resealable sachets. Storage instructions should be followed to prevent damage to the medications by heat, air, or light.
Doctors should specify the appropriate dosage on patients’ prescriptions. However, pharmacists and nurses are responsible for distributing and providing the proper medication at the right time, including the brand, strength, and dose.
- Examine the personnel policies
Staffing improper or insufficient arrangements might contribute to medical malpractice, which goes against the idea of providing high-quality patient care. In addition, due to weariness or stress, lengthy shifts for nurses and doctors might make it more difficult for them to think clearly and act sensibly, increasing the likelihood of making poor decisions.
Hospitals must consider their workers’ wellness, ensuring they give proper assistance, instruction, and direction.
Although errors in medicine can happen, there are strategies to avoid them. Patients need to have confidence that they will receive the best care available when they visit a hospital without running the risk of losing their health or, worse, their lives. The abovementioned precautions will help you in providing care to patients with safety.