Patient Safety-Making Healthcare Safer

Hospital is a place where sick people come in the hope of getting proper care and treatment. But, sometimes healthcare setups can in turn pose a threat when certain precautions are not taken. To create awareness on this , every year 9th of December is dedicated as ‘ World patient safety Day’.

What is Patient Safety?

Patient safety is the absence of a preventable harm to the patient during any health care process . Also it emphasizes on reduction of unnecessary risks associated with health care to minimal levels.

Why is it a Concern?

Is patient safety a matter of huge concern? Many of us might have this question. The answer is YES! The stats speak out loud and clear:

  • Around 1 in 10 patients are harmed while receiving health care.
  • Errors in medication cost an estimated 42 00 crore annually
  • Approximately 4 .3 crore incidences related to patient safety occurs every year

What are the Probable Patient Safety Issues?

  • Diagnostic errors ( wrong or delayed diagnosis)
  • Infections obtained during health care
  • Medication errors
  • Re- admissions (patient returns to hospital in less than 30 days of discharge)
  • Surgery at wrong site
  • Lack of communication (improper communication between patient and doctor)

Safety is a choice you make!

Here are few tips for the patients to ensure safety of oneself.

  • Assist the hospital staff to ensure that your personal data (patient history) is accurate.
  • Ask questions or doubtsthat you have about diagnosis .
  • Seek a second opinion on a medical condition in case of any doubt.
  • Ask the doctor about the pros and cons of any medical procedure that is suggested.

Universal Precautions

Here are few things that needs to be taken care of to ensure the safety of patient as well others surrounding the patient.

  • Hand Hygiene- Wash and sanitize hands frequently while handling a patient
  • Gloves- Wearing gloves while coming in contact with a patient
  • Facial protection- Use of surgical mask or face shield while interacting with a patient
  • lNeedles- Proper Disposal of used needles and sharps
  • Patient care equipment- Disinfection of reusable equipments before every use
  • Disposal of wastes- Proper disposal of biomedical wastes
  • Etiquettes- cover nose/ mouth while sneezing or coughing Safety comes first! And thus, should be placed before anything else while handling any patient!