December 9, 2015: The ‘World Patient Safety Day’ is celebrated on the 9th of December every year to spread awareness about the most basic principles of health care – safety of the patient during healthcare procedures. This is a public awareness campaign held at the global level.
Patient safety implies the care and precautions that are critical in nature for a patient’s ultimate safety regarding their health and well-being. These safety precautions for the patient are needed to be followed diligently by every doctor, surgeon, medical specialist as well as by all the hospitals and clinics to ensure safeguarding the patients against any unforeseen and uncertain threat during or after a medical procedure.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that an estimated 10% of all patients are in developed countries face a risk of some kind during hospital care. These risks may arise from any kind of adverse event or an error on the part of healthcare professionals. Although the medical technology has taken leaps and bounds in improving diagnostic and surgical treatment techniques this has also resulted in making the whole of the healthcare system a very complex one. This complexity at times can result in certain critical errors.
Today, a number of patients face a risk or diagnostic errors such as being wrongly diagnosed or even delayed diagnosis of a serious medical disorder, infections can be acquired as a result of under-quality surgical and hospital facilities, the patient could be administered a wrong medicine or a wrong dosage, the patient’s surgery might not have been successful due to a non-disease character such as an incomplete post-operative diagnosis or the surgery could have been performed in the wrong site as well as a miscommunication between the doctor/hospital staff and the patient.
To ensure that the patient’s safety is the top priority of the global-standard hospitals and clinics take certain fundamental precautionary measures in mind such as the patient’s identity is confirmed to avoid any mistake in treatment and medicine administering, the prescribed medicines are clearly stated to ensure correct administration and dosage of the medicines, a better communication model helps remove any communication error between the various medical staff, diagnostic staff and the personnel responsible for treating the patient, the healthcare infrastructure is continuously improved to avoid minute errors and to improve the quality of hospital management, spreading proper awareness regarding post-operative or post-treatment care and emphasizing the need to take the necessary precautions seriously to the patient and their family can help avoid a large number of re-admissions and repetitive surgeries.
Apart from the precautions needed to be taken by the medical and hospital staff the patients too need to ensure that their past medical records are accurate and thorough to avoid allergies and other complications, to ask questions if in doubt regarding the outcomes as opposed to your expectations to avoid dissatisfaction after the treatment, to ask the doctor/surgeon all questions regarding the advantages and risks involved in the particular treatment that you will be going through and to know about the potential side-effects.
All global-standard hospitals use hand hygiene techniques to avoid spreading infection to the patients during treatment, doctors and other medical staff wear surgical gloves and surgical masks to avoid contamination when coming in contact with the patients, the linen in the hospitals are always changed frequently and regularly, the patient care equipments are always sterilized and disinfected if it non-disposable type as well as ensuring that all bio-medical waste is disposed properly.
These are the precautions that are needed to be taken in a diligent manner in order to revolutionize and improve the level and quality of patient safety at a global level.