The safety of patients has a significant impact on their overall experience and health outcome. It is, therefore, the duty of hospital management, health professionals, and support staff to establish an environment that promotes the safety of patients. Doing so will prevent problems that pose a threat to the wellbeing of patients.
Depending on the nature of a health center, many strategies can help improve the safety of patients. However, the following three practices must always be included.
Poor communication among health professionals is one of the main threats to patient safety. Thus, a health institution must always focus on ensuring there is effective oral and written communication among the staff members.
When a physician is giving out prescriptions, the written information should be clear enough. This will prevent medication errors brought about mistakes in writing or reading, thereby resulting in the wrong drugs being administered.
There should be proper communication between changing shifts. This will ensure incoming physicians and nurses understand the needs of a patient. This will then prevent mistakes brought about by missed information, which can lead to issues such as inadequate monitoring and failure to act on lab results.
Therefore, by ensuring there is effective communication, the right information will be relayed to the right person at the right time. This will protect patients from medical errors, which pose a threat to their safety.
A Well-Maintained Hospital Environment
The safety of patients can be improved significantly by ensuring that the hospital setting is well maintained. This involves several practices.
First, the management, in conjunction with caregivers and support staff, must ensure that every part of the institution is well sanitized at all times. They must also ensure that no spillage or items are left lying around as this can lead to accidents that can cause further health complications.
Secondly, the management must ensure there is a well-established hazardous waste disposal system. This will ensure that dangerous waste, such as sharps and chemical waste are handled accordingly.
Observing the two practices will play a crucial role in ensuring that the hospital setting is always clean and tidy. This will then protect patients from hospital-acquired conditions and injuries, which occurs when they come into contact with unsterilized surfaces and medical waste.
A hospital should focus on giving patient-centered care, and so they must always engage the patients. The practice can improve safety in several ways.
A patient can notice when a nurse is about to administer a drug they have never seen before. Since there is a supportive environment, they can raise their concern, forcing the health professional to double-check the information. This, in turn, can prevent medication error caused by missed or misinterpreted patient data.
Engaging patients allows them to report whenever they notice a health professional is reckless when providing care. The necessary action is then taken by the management, thereby eliminating unwanted practices that are a threat to the safety of patients.
Engaging patients gives health professionals a chance to communicate safety measures to a patient and his or her family. This plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety of a patient since they are aware of what they should do and what to avoid. If the patient fails to adhere to the guidelines, the family members can always push them to be disciplined.
In conclusion, a hospital can improve the safety of patients in three ways. First, it should ensure there is effective communication within the facility. Second, the environment should be well-maintained, which will also require an efficient hazardous waste disposal system. Third, health professionals must engage patients to encourage them to report safety issues.