Patient safety involves the measures taken to ensure that errors and untoward medical occurrence that may arise when administering health care to a patient are prevented. Health providers across the globe are encouraged to ensure there are minimal incidents on the safety of the patients that arise during the provision of healthcare (10 Patient Safety Tips for Hospitals 2009). They are further advised to work towards the improvement of safety and quality of health services they provide to the patients. Some of the favorable conditions under which patient safety is guaranteed in the provision of quality healthcare include safe environment and protection from harm that is avoidable.
Good practices that are widely exercised with the aim of reducing the risk of harmful effects during the administration of quality health care include the proper use of prophylaxis in the prevention of venous thromboembolism for risky patients. Another practice is the application of optimal sterile barriers during the placement of central intravenous catheters in the prevention of possible infections (Mitchell 2008). Thirdly, the method of inquiring from the patients whether they remember and can repeat using words any information that has been communicated to them during the process of the informed consent to authenticate their understanding. Another common practice among health care providers is the provision of proper nutrition especially among patients that are critically ill and those undergoing surgical operations to avoid complications. These are some of the practices that are exercised by healthcare providers to guarantee safety to patients.
In 2017, the WHO launched a campaign dubbed as Medication without Harm in Brisbane whose theme is KNOW, CHECK, ASK. The aim of this campaign sensitizing all stakeholders in the provision of healthcare across the world including the patients to become fully involved in the process order to ensure safety (World Health Organization 2018). According to WHO, 1in 10 patients is adversely affected while receiving health care. Further, WHO notes that close to 43 million incidences that are related to the safety of the patients are witnessed annually while an estimated $42 billion is lost in medication costs due to the errors made in the provision of healthcare.
In conclusion, clear policies need to be formulated to ensure improvements are made to guarantee patient safety among providers across the world. More active involvement of the patients in engagement with professionals involved in the process is required to ensure sustainable and enhanced improvements in the safety of patients.
World Health Organization (2018). Patient safety. Global Campaign: Medication without Harm. http://www.who.int/patientsafety/en/
Mitchell PH. (2008). Defining Patient Safety and Quality Care. In: Hughes RG, editor. Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008 Apr. Chapter 1. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2681/
10 Patient Safety Tips for Hospitals. Content last reviewed December 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/diagnosis-treatment/hospitals-clinics/10-tips/index.html