All About International Patient Safety Day

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The 9th of December is commemorated as the world patients safety day around the world. This day was established in the year 2015 by the German Coalition for patient safety. The concept was immediately picked up by the neighbouring countries of Switzerland and Austria giving it an international status from its very conception. Today around 10 countries from different parts of the world are active participants in the World Patient Safety Day.

Patient Safety Day

Why is Patient Safety Important?

The concept of International Patient Safety Day is to reduce the ailments patients have to face while getting treated in a hospital. According to the WHO in developed nations about 1 out of 10 patients are affected by ailments when receiving their treatment at a hospital. In under-developed and developing countries this ratio goes up. World patient safety day focuses on the reduction of these occurrences by setting achievable goals that can help in ensuring the patient’s safety while getting a treatment in a hospital.

Everything To Know About National Patient Safety Goals

Every year the international patient day comes up with a set of goals which they try to fulfil in the same year. Likewise this year also the coalition has come up with three specific goals to attain during this year which will promote patient safety in hospitals. This year the major focus lies in the Digitization and Patient Safety. In the previous three years, they came with goals like:

  • 2015 – Eradication of hospital-acquired or multi-drug resistant infections
  • 2016 – Safety of Medication
  • 2017- If Silence is Dangerous ( Campaign asking for the calling out of illegal practices in hospitals)
  • 2018 – Digitization and Patient Safety

This year’s national patient Safety day goals focus on promoting the digitization of patient records and the use of mobile technology to reduce the errors in the formulation of data and the management of patient records. The organization emphasises on the fact that digitization of patient records can ensure much more safety to the patients as machines tend to make fewer mistakes than actual person managing the records. This will reduce the chances of mismatch in patient information which has claimed many lives around the world.

Patient safety initiatives are tailored according to the needs of the country initiating it. The nine participating countries which work as a part of the parent coalition are:

  1. Germany
  2. Austria
  3. Switzerland
  4. Croatia
  5. The United States of America
  6. Spain
  7. Brazil
  8. Argentina
  9. Kuwait

Other than these countries many other countries are coming up with patient safety day goals to ensure that the international patient safety day is given the proper accordance it requires.

Purpose And Topics

The primary purpose of commemorating patient safety day is to promote safe practices in hospitals that can eradicate the chances of the patient acquiring more ailments while undergoing treatment in a hospital. The topics of safety day change according to the countries that choose to implement it. The needs of different countries differ according to the demands and crisis they face in ensuring patient safety. Although all countries stick to the basic plan of the primary purpose put out by the coalition every year. To give you a fair idea here are some of the patient safety goals set by the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA).

  1. Surgical Safety Checklist

The Blue Cross Blue Sheild Organization (BCBSO) has come up with a 3 point safety procedure to follow during any surgery. The detailed surgical checklist is provided int he below table. These checklists can also be used in the assessment of surgical safety in developing countries like India too.

Sign In (Before Surgery)
Time Out (During Surgery)
Sign Out (After Surgery)
Confirmation of Procedure, Site of surgery, identity and consent of the patient. Confirmation of team member identity and roleVerbal confirmation of the procedure and patient name by the nurse
Clear Marking of the siteVerbal Confirmation of patient name, procedure and site of operationCorrect count of needles, instrument and sponges.
Anaesthesia Saftey CheckThe anticipation of Critical EventsCorrect Specimen Labelling
Functioning of Pulse Oximeter CheckConfirmation of Antibiotic ProphylaxisAssessment of Equipment
Malfunction
Patient Allergy History CheckEssential Image Display checkOverview of patient concerns for faster recovery
Aspiration & Airway Risk CheckConfirm sterility of equipment
Blood Loss Risk Check
  1. Prevention of Hospital Acquired Infection and Never Events

The centre for disease control (CDC) is responsible for the management of the never to happen events for the processing the patients during their time in hospitals. According to the new accord, the coverage for charges for accidental events that can be avoided with caution will no longer be provided. The events such as:

  • Surgery on Wrong Patients
  • Surgery on Wrong Body Part
  • Wrong Surgical Procedure on the patient
  • A foreign object left in the patient
  • Death or disability due to incompatible blood transfusions

Will no longer be covered under the CDC plans of reimbursement and the hospital has to take full responsibility of the charges occurred and the legal steps.

  1. Prevention of Bloodstream infections

With the new results from the CDC, it was confirmed that around 80,000 people in the US are affected by bloodstream infections due to the abuse of central line catheters. This is a serious lapse from the side of the hospital for which the patient has to pay the price. The use of central-line catheters without the use of proper sterilization methods should be stopped completely and the campaign is already showing a decline in the number of people affected with catheter-induced bloodstream infections in Hawaii.

International Patient Safety Goals (IPSG)

What are Patient Safety Goals?

The world health organization comes with a set of patient safety goals to ensure the safety of the patient and to keep them away from ailments that can be caused due to some common problem areas of the hospital-based health care. Below is the list of goals that are released for the safe processing of the patient.

  1. Identify Patients Clearly

There are a lot of mishaps that happen in the surgical rooms around the world due to poor mechanisms of proper patient identification. The hospital has to take full responsibility if such events happen.

  1. Improve Effective Communication

Every year lot of medical blunders happen due to inefficient communication systems between the different departments of the hospital. This goal falls under the primary goal of digitization, which makes it crucial for hospitals to ensure that all communication systems are up and running during all the time.

  1. Improve the Safety of High Alert Medications

High-Alert Medications are always to be stored under the right climatic environment and the inability to do this can cause severe complications in patients who intake these medicines.

  1. Ensure Safe Surgery

Following the BCBSO checklist for a surgery can successfully reduce the number of hospital-induced ailments that can happen during a surgery this will really help in the overall safety of the patient.

  1. Reduce the risk of Hospital Infections

Keeping a sterile environment in the hospital can ensure that the patients have a safe environment to relax and recover. Making arrangements for proper and deep cleansing can ensure that the patient remains safe int he hospital.

  1. Prevent Patient Damage due to Falls

Falling is a very serious issue which can cause further damage in the patients. This problem is particularly prevalent in children and old people. Prevention of falling can only be made possible by ensuring all-around proper observation of the patient.

Nursing Patient Safety Goals

Nurses play a very crucial role in ensuring the safety of any patient while they are in the hospital. Almost 90 per cent of the mishaps that happens in hospitals can be reduced with the help of the nurses. The nurses, however, require proper support and direction from the side of management and the doctors to carry this function properly. Below is the list of the nursing patient safety goals released by the Nursing Care Center for nurses to follow to ensure the safety of the patient.

  1. Multiple Variables for Patient Identification

The centre urges the nurses to identify patients based on at least two parameters such as the age and name or the date of birth and patient identification number to reduce the instances of confusion leading to the harm of the patient.

  1. Careful use of Medicines

The centre emphasises on the use of medications more carefully to ensure that the patients are not receiving a wrong dosage or wrong medicine altogether. The centre also calls for extreme caution while using blood thinners as this is a leading cause affecting patient safety in hospitals.

Related Read: 10 Ways to Check for Fake Medicines

  1. Active Methods of Infection Prevention

This goal is directed to the use of proper guidelines while treating patients with communicable diseases. The use of gloves and masks are overemphasised while treating these patients. These guidelines are equally helpful in ensuring both patient and nurse safety.

  1. Stop Residents from Falling

The centre calls for extra care given to the patient so that they do not suffer from more injuries by falling while in a hospital. This can be achieved by actively monitoring the patient 24/7 and making sure older patients get help when they wish to move around.

  1. Prevention of Bedsores

Bedsores are an ailment that most patients suffer from while being completely bedridden, proper care and regular cleaning and changing of sheets can ensure that the damage retained due to bedsores doesn’t become severe.

The need for patient safety is paramount these days as the number of people seeking professional healthcare is increasing by a huge margin. The results of these initiatives are very well visible in the countries which choose to implement it. Let’s hope that in the future more countries like India can be a part of the initiative and can also be better in the field of patient safety.

FAQ’s

Now that you have understood what International Patient Safety Day is about and what the are the goals designed to achieve it, we will try to answer some of the frequently asked questions about the topic.

  1. When is Patient Safety Day?
    The patient safety day celebrated on the 9th of December every month to ensure the safety of the patients around the world.
  2. Is India a part of the International Patient Safety Day Initiative?
    No, India is not a part of the international patient safety day initiative as of now.
  3. Why is Patient Safety Day Celebrated?
    Patient Safety day is celebrated to promote the safety of the patients while they are obtaining medical assistance in hospitals. It is an initiative to promote safe practices in hospitals that can ensure the complete safety of the patient.
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