What Is Patient Safety?
- Patient safety is simply defined as “the prevention of harm to patients”.
- Patient safety is an integral part of the delivery of quality of care and a fundamental right of all patients.
- Although simple in definition, the road to ensuring patient safety in health care facilities is complex and replete with obstacles.
- Our Organization has made patient safety a declared and serious aim by establishing comprehensive patient safety programs with defined executive responsibility, operated by trained personnel and in a culture of safety.
Objective Of Patient Safety
- To provide, clear and visible attention to safety
- To implement a system for analyzing and reporting any errors within their Organizations
- To incorporate well-understood safety principles.
- To establish multidisciplinary team training programs for providers.
- To identify and analyze system failures
- To involve the participation of patients and their families wherever required and be responsive to their Inquires
- To communicate findings to the concerned department.
- To provide education related to patient safety to all the health care workers.
Improve the accuracy of patient identification
Use at least two patient identifiers when providing care, treatment or services. The intent for this goal is to:
To reliably identify the individual as the person for whom the service or treatment is intended.
To match the service or treatment with the person.
Patient identifiers used:
- ID Band
- Patient NAME/AGE/SEX/ ID.No.
“The patient’s room number or physical location should not be used as an identifier”.
Improve the effectiveness of communication among caregivers
- Ineffective communication is the most frequently cited category of root causes of sentinel events.
- Effective communication, which is timely, accurate, complete, unambiguous, and understood by the recipient, reduces error and results in improved patient safety
- All the orders in the ward preferably are taken in written format.
Improve the safety of using medications
- When medications are part of the patient treatment plan, appropriate management is critical to ensuring patient safety.
- Every drug is been countersigned and checked by one another health care workers
(Refer: Medicine administration policy)
Reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections
- Comply with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hand hygiene guidelines
- Compliance with the CDC hand hygiene guidelines will reduce the transmission of Infectious agents by staff to patients, thereby decreasing the incidence of healthcare-associated infections. (Refer: Infection control manual)
Accurately and completely reconcile medications across the continuum of care
- The development, reconciliation and communication of an accurate medication list throughout the continuum of care are essential in the reduction of transition-related adverse drug events.
- We provide extended teaching about the drug and treatment in continuum of care at the time of discharge
Reduce the risk of patient harm resulting from falls
- The organization should evaluate its patients’ risk for falls and take action to reduce the risk of falling and to reduce the risk of injury.
- The ratio of patient and healthcare workers is followed in all the patient care area as approved.
- Medical and chemical restrain are used as and when required with the written order from the physician.
Encourage patients’ active involvement in their own care as a patient safety strategy
- Communication with patients and families about all aspects of their care, treatment or service is an important characteristic of a culture of safety.
(Refer: Patient’s rights and responsibilities)
Patient age-related hazards
To ensure a safe environment for patients of all ages, the following guidelines have been developed.
a. Pediatric Patients
- Side rails should be utilized all the time, except when side rails were found to interfere with the ease of nursing or clinical care and at these times a child should not be left unattended.
- Light plastic wrappings are never permitted on sheets or pillows.
- Small candies, toys, etc., should not be accessible to a small child as he/she may choke or insert them into a body orifice
- Toys should be suitable for the age and condition of the child
- All cleaning supplies will be kept in locked areas and never left were accessible to children
- Medications will be kept locked at all times.
b. Elderly Patients
- Side rails should be utilized as and when found necessary. The decision shall be made by the nurse
- Patient rooms and corridors should be especially clear of furniture or equipment that may lead to falls.
- Floors are to be kept clean and dry.
- Patients will be instructed on fall prevention measures.
- Be watchful for patient hypersensitivity to medications
- Application of hot or cold compresses should be monitored closely.
- Nurse call button should be kept within reach.
Patient safety orientation
- Patients with valuables should be informed of hospital policy on patient valuables. They shall be requested to the location and use of call button, TV control, other switches, and side rails should be explained to patients.
- Patients should be informed of the smoking policy
- Patients should be informed of policy concerning personal appliances
- Hospital fire drills should be explained to prevent any panic or discomfort experienced by the patient
- Patient Directory will be provided to the patient.
- During the transfer, bed clothes should be loosened to make for easier movement. Arrange bed clothing so the patient will not be exposed or hampered.
- Communicate with the patient, work in unison with the patient, and do not permit the patient to overexert himself.
- During the transfer of the patient from his bed to a stretcher, brakes should be applied to the bed and stretcher to prevent separation between bed and stretcher.
- Patients on a stretcher should be covered with a sheet or blanket and should be cautioned to keep hands, feet and arms under the cover while on the stretcher.
- Patients being transferred on a stretcher should be transported feet forward.
- When using an elevator, always check to see that the corridor floor and the elevator floor are at the same level before entering or exiting.
- Any defective stretcher should be removed from service, tagged and sent for repair.
- Side rails should be in upright position.
- Brakes will be locked when assisting patients in and out of a wheelchair
- Patients should always be supported when getting in/out of a wheelchair
- Footrest should be raised when patient is getting in/out of a wheelchair
- When using an elevator, always check to see that the corridor floor and the elevator floor are level before entering or exiting
- Any defective wheelchair should be removed from service and sent for repair.
Patient safety and hospital beds
- Side rails may be used as and when found necessary
- Upon admission to the unit, the patient shall be told the purpose and importance of bed rails being in the up position.
- The fact should be stressed that this is for their own safety and welfare. If a patient is not capable of understanding, a family member should be informed of the need for side rails to be in the up position.
- Items such as water, telephones, call buttons, etc., should be in easy reach of the patient so he/she does not have to overreach and possibly fall from the bed.
- Beds should always be lowered before patients attempt to stand
- When side rails are placed in the up position, Nursing Services should give it a tug to ensure the latch is engaged.
- Brakes should always be locked when in position and especially during patient transfer. Patients often use the bed for support when getting in and out of bed and could be injured if the bed moves. When setting the brakes, push and pull bed to ensure stability.
- Any defective bed should be removed from service and repairs requested.