Patient safety is a serious issue that healthcare institutions such as hospitals, clinics, etc. should always take into consideration.
At all cost, patients should be protected against injuries, accidents, infections, medical errors, etc. Otherwise, their reason for visiting the medical institution to seek treatment or advice would not make sense anymore.
Here are some areas that constantly require improvement and call for attention:
Medication and Diagnostic Errors
Every year, approximately 5% of patients in the US are affected by adverse drug situations. Diagnostic errors likewise account for about 10% of the deaths of patients in hospitals in 2015.
Hospital directors, who were interviewed regarding this report, all admit that mitigating these errors remain a top priority in improving their respective patient care services.
In 2015, nearly 15% of patients experienced adverse events within 2-3 weeks of their date of discharge from the hospital.
Hospital directors have determined that over 50% of these cases would have been preventable. In response to this growing concern, health advocate groups are now urging medical institutions to take responsibility on their patients who again experience the same medical problem within 90 days of their date of discharge.
Hospital Facility Safety
A lot of times, the safety of patients in hospitals has been put on a compromise due to construction and maintenance problems.
Three of the top known issues found in a 2015 study reveal that managing sewage leaks or making sure that sewage is properly cleaned up was very common among hospitals.
Some health institutions were found to have poorly performed in infection control risk assessment. There were even a couple of cases discovered wherein live rats roaming above ceilings and air-conditioning units cause leaks that contaminate food preparation tables.
What Can Patients Do to Improve Their Safety
If you discover an error made in the medical institution, talk to your nurse or doctor immediately. That way, your medical provider would be able to address problems as quickly as possible. Be proactive and never hesitate to provide as much information as necessary.
Discuss issues in an assertive, yet respectful manner. Make it clear to your medical provider that you’re expecting to hear an immediate response to the problem or error you’ve reported.
If you still haven’t received any answer to your query even after being discharged, contact the hospital’s customer relations department. You may also request to talk to the higher management so you can be sure that they’re aware of the problem.