Patient safety, according to World Health Organization is an endemic concern.“In April 1982 the ABC television program 20/20 entitled The Deep Sleep presented accounts of anesthetic accidents and stated that, every year, 6,000 Americans die or suffer brain damage related to these mishaps. A year later in 1983, the British Royal Society of Medicine and the Harvard Medical School jointly sponsored a symposium on anesthesia deaths and injuries. By 1984 the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) had established the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF). The APSF marked the first use of the term; patient safety; in the name of professional reviewing organization.
Subsequent to a lot of studies conducted across the globe and recognizing that healthcare errors impact 1 in every 10 patients around the world, the World Health Organization calls patient safety an endemic concern.
So, what does patient safety really mean?
It means about a hundred different things to different people. From a clinician, to a health care provider, to the administrator, and of course the patient himself. Patient safety is a perspective….I mean; one would assume that when a patient walks into a healthcare facility, he or she is in safe hands……literally. Right? Well! Wrong.
You see, Patient safety is a serious global public health issue today. Estimates show that in developed countries as many as one in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care. And the Patient safety issues may vary from the preventable errors in healthcare that can cause harm to patients such as injury, suffering, disability or death. Therefore by default Patient safety would be any improvement that tackles the causes of errors in care that can come from either bad working environment, the lack of training and support for staff or (unintended) patient harm resulting from treatment.
From a patient’s perspective, does that patient know how unsafe he is in any healthcare facility? Does he know that in addition to a million different bugs that he is exposed to, he is vulnerable to specific hospital acquired infections, falls, wrong medications, wrong site surgery etc. So really, how safe is that person who walks into any healthcare facility today?
While that remains the bigger question the answer comes in various forms such as Training- both class room and on job, constant reinforcement of safety policies, exposure to various forums and conferences and more training. The responsibility of patient safety lies with every individual associated with the care of the patient because at the end of the day if that patient walks out of a hospital SAFE then that’s a job well done.
The decision to make a patient safe does not come by accidentally or incidentally. It is a conscious decision that every health care facility has to make and follow meticulously. It is a commitment by every healthcare worker to every patient who walks into a healthcare facility however small or big. It should not and cannot be taken lightly.
We believe that anything that an organization does towards patient safety is still less. It has been our concerted effort to enhance patient safety by exposing all healthcare workers to various facets of keeping a patient safe in a hospital/healthcare. Right from medication errors, lab safety, and safety in food delivery, anesthetic complications and HAI to facility safe hospital and finally to effective communication, all these are but a part of the whole picture.
We have tried to enthuse every one of our participants over the last 2.8 years to make sure that patient safety is the norm of the day. We would like to believe that we have initiated a safe and happy patient care environment and the journey is a continuous one because whatever any healthcare facility decides to implement towards enhancing patient safety unfortunately is still woefully deficient but it is a start in the right direction.
Come join hands to make “Patient’s SAFE”.