A Shared Responsibility: World Patient Safety Day Advocacy

World Patient Safety Day underlines shared responsibility, emphasizing a collaborative approach for safer healthcare outcomes through advocacy.

When we step through the doors of a healthcare facility, there’s an inherent trust, a silent hope, that we are entering a sanctuary of healing and care. We all envision receiving the pinnacle of medical attention, unmarred by flaws. However, reality often paints a different picture, reminding us of the pressing need for continual improvement.

World Patient Safety Day isn’t just a date on the calendar; it’s a clarion call. A reminder that the journey towards optimal healthcare is ongoing, and every individual deserves not just care, but care that is safe, undiluted, and of the highest quality.

Diving into Numbers

The idiom “First, do no harm” should resonate in the corridors of every healthcare facility. Despite this, evidence suggests that up to 1 in every 10 patients is harmed during medical care. A deeper understanding of the stats paints a clearer picture:

  1. As much as 80% of harm in primary and ambulatory settings can be evaded.
  2. Common causes include medication errors, unsafe surgical procedures, and patient falls, among others.

Globally, the indirect cost of patient harm equates to trillions of US dollars each year. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. But, in this context, prevention ensures that there is no need for further cure.

The Common Culprits

Several common sources of negligence of patient safety include:

  • Medication Errors: They affect 1 out of every 30 patients, with half being severe.
  • Surgical Errors: Despite the high number of surgeries, 10% of harm is attributed to surgeries.
  • Healthcare-associated Infections: These add additional burdens to patients and the system.
  • Diagnostic Errors: Surprisingly, most people will experience a diagnostic error in their lifetime.

The list doesn’t end there. From patient falls and venous thromboembolism to pressure ulcers and unsafe transfusion practices, the risks are myriad. This only underscores the urgency to improve safety protocols and measures.

Towards a Safer Health System

The root cause of these harms often stems from systematic issues rather than individual negligence. For safer healthcare, emphasis should be on:

  • Prioritizing safety.
  • Ensuring safe work environments.
  • Continuous training of healthcare workers.
  • Engaging patients and families in policies.
  • Regular reporting of patient safety incidents for constant learning and improvement.

Elevating the Voice of Patients: World Patient Safety Day 2023

On 17 September 2023, World Patient Safety Day is observed, shedding light on the paramount importance of involving patients, their families, and caregivers in the safety protocols of healthcare. This initiative celebrates the indispensable role these individuals play in making healthcare safer and more effective.

What’s India’s stand here?

India is actively enhancing its healthcare quality and patient safety. Key frameworks include the Consumer Protection Act and Clinical Establishment Act, addressing medical negligence and patient rights respectively. Institutions like NPPA and DCGI monitor medication and device safety. The NHSRC sets quality standards for public health institutions, while the NABH accredits hospitals.

Regular national health reports are issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Programs like Adverse Events Following Immunization and Pharmacovigilance Program assess unsafe care. National guidelines focus on cleanliness, hygiene, and infection control. Additionally, standard treatment protocols, drug quality checks, and strict standards for blood banks are in place.

HCL Healthcare

At HCL Healthcare we are fostering a culture of Patient Safety First. Our clinics are NABH accredited and follow the highest standards of patient safety. To ensure well-being and quality of care, many initiatives have been undertaken under the ambit of the highest standards of patient safety.

  • Experienced and efficient team of healthcare professionals
  • Emphasis on Patient Safety and Quality as Organizational Culture
  • Maintaining high standards of Infection Prevention and Control
  • Periodic hazard identification, risk assessment, and mitigation
  • Regular Assessment and Reporting of Occupational Health Hazards
  • Training on Emergency response preparedness
  • Focus on Emotional and Mental Wellbeing
  • Leadership Involvement and Employee Engagement and Participation in developing safety programs