World Patient Safety Day

December 9

World Patient Safety Day
World Patient Safety day is celebrated every year on 9th of December to raise awareness about the safety of patient. Patient safety is a global public health concern and is a fundamental principle of health care. The main aim of this day is to raise awareness about patient safety issues in all parts of the world.

Hospital is a place which provides treatment to sick people round the clock. However at times, it could turn out to be life threatening as well. Every process of patient care safety involves a certain degree of uncertainty. The discipline of patient safety highlights the importance to prevent harm to patients, caused by the process of healthcare itself.  Improving patient safety means reducing harm to the patient.

According to WHO, estimates show that in developed countries as many as 1 in 10 patients are harmed while receiving hospital care. The harm can be caused by a range of errors or adverse events. Recent advancement in technology has created an immensely complex healthcare system. This complexity brings many challenges for healthcare staff in order to keep the patient safe. Though, a lot of people are treated successfully but there are times when things can go wrong.

Patient Safety Issues: 
  • Diagnostic Errors:  such as wrong, missed or unintentional delayed diagnosis.
  • Health Care-Acquired Infections: These are the errors which occur during patient’s hospitalization.
  • Medication Errors- are when a patient gets the wrong medication, or when he or she receives the right medication but in the wrong dosage.
  • Readmissions: A readmission is when a patient needs to return to the hospital less than 30 days after being discharged.
  • Wrong-Site Surgery: Wrong-site surgery means an operation done on the wrong part of the body or on the wrong person.
  • Communication: Proper communication between the hospital workers as well as between the patient and doctor.
How to ensure proper patient Safety?
  • Ensure proper patient identity. Patient coding/ labelling can be helpful.
  • Do not use abbreviations while writing prescriptions. Preferably use capital letters so that it is easy for the patient to understand.
  • Training of healthcare professionals and team building activities can help in reducing such errors.
  • Proper healthcare infrastructure will help in reducing patient harm during hospitalization.
  • Effective use of signages will avoid unnecessary delays during hospitalization. 
  • Take proper charge when handing over/taking over the patients especially during shifts.
  • Engaging patient and their families in their own care. Adherence to Standard Operative Procedure (SOP) facilitates patient’s safety.
  • Doctors should be trained for rational use of medicines and especially avoid over prescription.