Did you know that about one in thirty-one patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection every day?
People trust that a hospital or a healthcare facility is the place to get treatment and recover from any health condition. But the sad reality is that healthcare settings are potentially high-risk places for patients.
Medical errors and infections linked to unsound medical practices can result in patient harm. When safety measures are inadequate, a patient’s life is in peril.
Read on to learn about strategies to protect patients and improve patient safety in a medical facility.
Table of Contents
Ensure Accurate Records and Documentation
It’s easy to see how keeping erroneous records can have disastrous results.
Misidentifying patients can lead to mix-ups, duplicate records, and even medical identity theft. There’s a possibility for a patient to receive medication meant for someone else. Another catastrophic event is a surgical team performing surgery on the wrong person or site.
That’s why the Joint Commission prioritizes improving the accuracy of patient identification. It’s the number one national patient safety goal for 2022.
Verify Medical Procedures and Treatment
Much like keeping accurate records, a systematic verification process is essential. Before carrying out any procedure, the healthcare team must check every detail regarding the patient.
One example of this process of verification is the Universal Protocol. Any surgical team member can call a “time-out” before the patient goes under the knife. This helps prevent surgical errors that can have a detrimental effect on the patient.
Review all medication and medical procedures. Confirm that they’re correct and in line with the patient’s condition and treatment plan.
Invest in Monitoring Technology
Close monitoring of patients, especially those in intensive care, can save lives. They alert doctors and nurses to any potential harm to the patient. That way, the medical team can act fast to avert danger.
For example, setting up bed alarms can warn nurses if a patient falls off the bed. Wearable devices can notify the staff if the patient’s condition is deteriorating. Other technology like barcode systems can help prevent medication errors.
Healthcare Facility Disinfection and Hygiene
One of the most important ways of promoting patient safety is by keeping the patient environment clean.
Hospital-acquired infections are some of the most pressing problems in healthcare today. Preventing the spread of bacteria and other pathogens should be at the top of the list of priorities for medical facilities.
Medical office cleaning is a must, as well as disinfection of surfaces and high-traffic areas. Ensure that all medical equipment and instruments are sterilized.
The simple act of handwashing for healthcare workers can go a long way in preventing secondary infections. Place alcohol-based sanitizers in all areas for easy access. Also, talk to patients about the importance of regular hand hygiene.
Foster a Culture of Patient Safety
Patient safety requires a team effort. Everyone, from doctors, nurses, cleaning staff, and even patients, must do their part to protect the health of the patients. With proper safeguards, any healthcare facility can be a safe haven for anyone seeking treatment.
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