HEALTH WORKER SAFETY : A PRIORITY FOR PATIENT SAFETY

Article written by :subhro

Dr. Subhrojyoti Bhowmick
MD (Pharmacology), FISQua (UK)
Clinical Director, Academics, Research & Quality

Our Commitment towards a Patient safe Hospital on this World Patient safety day 2020

Patient safety is a discipline that emphasizes safety in hospitals through the prevention, reduction, reporting, and analysis of medical error that often leads to adverse effects. The frequency and magnitude of avoidable adverse events experienced by patients was not well known until the 1990s, when multiple countries reported staggering numbers of patients harmed and killed by medical errors. Recognizing that healthcare errors impact 1 in every 10 patients in developed world and 4 in every 10 patients in the developing, the World Health Organization calls patient safety as a major healthcare concern.

Issues related to patient safety include diagnostic errors, medication errors, medical device and equipment safety issues, infection prevention and control, blood safety, radiation safety and safe surgery and safe childbirth. Hospitals and doctors need to develop “environment of safety culture” to promote patient safety. The initiative of development of safety culture begins with senior management and leadership commitment. This is the most important step to make “patients safe” in the hospitals. The environment of “safety culture” involves reporting, analyzing and developing appropriate corrective and preventive strategies. Healthcare workers including doctors should acknowledge the medical errors caused while delivering healthcare and report them in a “blame free environment”. The incident reporting process should be accessible to all healthcare professional and proper analysis of the adverse event should be performed by trained patient safety experts. The analysis report along with corrective action and preventive action report must be shared with all healthcare workers of the hospital along with leadership team to ensure long term improvement of the patient safety culture.

 According to  the WHO “The COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled the huge challenges and risks health workers are facing globally including health care associated infections, violence, stigma, psychological and emotional disturbances, illness and even death”.

I completely echo the same thoughts. Furthermore, working in stressful environments like the Covid19 wards with full PPE and among very sick patients makes health workers more prone to errors which can lead to patient harm hence, hospitals should take proactive initiative to screen healthcare workers for emotional and social well being as well have double check system in place for all high risk patient safety areas.

We, at Peerless Hospital and B K Roy Research Centre, Kolkata have always been committed to be a “Patient safety hospital”. We regularly conduct clinical audits of our clinical processes and outcomes and have always ensured that the healthcare delivered is of the global standards. We regularly conduct mortality and morbidity meetings at our hospital to discuss unexpected patient harm and seek appropriate corrective and preventive action. Infact, we have published our experience of mortality audit of fever cases in our Hospital in the peer reviewed Indian journal of Emergency Medicine and shared our experience of fever management with the entire medical fraternity. We are the only hospital in Eastern India who have published in a peer reviewed medical journal and shared the medication errors captured in our hospital for 3 years. I would like to thank our leadership team lead by our Managing Director, Dr Sujit Kar Purkayastha for letting us publish this experience for the greater awareness of the healthcare community. In truest sense, we have achieved our vision of being of “Patient safe” hospital and our commitment to remain one is strengthen everyday by various clinical, nursing and pharmacy audits at our Hospital.

We have been awarded for our safe patient safety culture by the Healthcare Quality and Patient safety Government bodies including the NABH and NABL for years together. I sincerely hope with leadership support our hospital will usher in new domains of patient safety and evolve as the “best patient safe” hospital of the country.

 

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