world patient safety day

The World Patient Safety Day

World Patient Safety day was introduced in 2005 with the aim of promoting awareness about patient safety in healthcare. It is observed every year on the 9th of December. The concern over patient safety care rose when WHO reported that 1 in 10 patients in developed countries are victims of medical errors, negligence, unsafe medical practices and healthcare measures. Patient safety day is observed to encourage medical facilities across the globe to ensure a safe patient care service by creating a flawless health care system.

Factors that increase the risk of patient safety

  • Human Error – Forgetfulness, ignoring protocols and diagnostic errors
  • Management Errors: Not ensuring the presence of sufficient staff, not appointing staff with experience and expertise, poor communication between staff and not reinforcing the need for following protocols and adopting proper patient safety in nursing.

How to ensure patient safety in nursing?

  1. Hygiene – Healthcare facilities should be cleaned The staff should keep their hands clean and hygiene at all times. The beds, pieces of equipment including gloves should be available and kept clean. The patient care service should be given utmost priority. All the staff should take optimum care to prevent infections and illnesses that can arise from negligence.
  2. Cross-checks and follow-ups – A patient survey has revealed instances of doctors treating a patient for the wrong illness! A checklist should be maintained and followed to make sure that the treatment is carried out in the right way without leaving any room for errors. Surgical safety checklist introduced by WHO in 2008 has helped in reducing mortality rates from 1.5% to 0.8%. Doctors and nurses need to have checklists to prevent diagnostic and treatment errors.
  3. Computerised prescriptions – Doctors and medical staff have a practice of using a lot of abbreviations. And most of the doctors have an unreadable handwriting. Around 15000 medication errors have been caused due to the use of non-universal abbreviations. Using a computerised system for medical prescriptions can help in preventing such errors.
  4. Efficient and experienced team – A resourceful and competent team will help in devising valuable strategies to improve staff performance and ensure better safety for patients. A skilled team can build a strong health care setting and can respond promptly to emergency situations.

How world safety day helps in promoting patient safety in healthcare?

  • By building awareness among public and healthcare experts through social media and other online platforms.
  • Organising events in communities to address patient safety issues
  • By giving patients access to informative materials
  • By running awareness campaigns in local publications to ensure maximum reach
  • By building groups in communities to promote patient safety

Patient safety is a crucial part of healthcare; patients trust the facilities and the caregivers to help them overcome their illnesses. With a better and advanced patient care system, healthcare centres can become more effective in curing and treating patients. On this world, patient safety day, do your bit to spread the awareness about the need for an effectual healthcare system.