When we talk about patient care, their safety plays a central role in the health care system we want to empower along with physicians. Isn’t the whole point of medical care to improve patient safety?
Read on to take an in-depth look at Dr. Amit Kumar Sinha’s suggestions on World Patient Safety Day and learn about the factors that can help you ensure safety and care for the patients who come through your facility.
Simple actions can have a big impact on patient safety. Handwashing is one of the best ways to stop the spread of germs and prevent infections in hospitals. Dr. Amit suggests, “Hospitals have to ensure that alcohol-based rub and gloves are available at the bedside in patient rooms and at entry in the clinics, and guarantee that compliance is monitored continuously.”
Covid-19 has opened conversations with patients about the importance of hand hygiene and has led to a behaviour change for the better. This allows patients to take control of their health and increases their chances of safety from infectious diseases.
Make it a mandate to double, triple check the check-ups and surgical rounds and procedures involved in the treatment process. The most well-known surgical safety checklist is the one devised in 2008 by World Health Organisation (WHO), which cuts mortality rates from 1.5% to 0.8% at sites in industrialized nations and developing countries. The checklist also helped reduce the surgical complications rate from 11% to 7% over six months involving nearly 4,000 procedures. So using this, doctors can be extra wary of the patient’s medical safety.
Abbreviations are commonly used in medical records to save time and space but use in prescriptions can be a reason for communication failures and preventable harm during healthcare delivery. Nearly 5% of medication errors can be attributable to abbreviation use. Prescriptions need to be clear so that nurses and pharmacists can correctly interpret the intentions of doctors.
Abbreviations such as “u” for “unit” and “o.d.” instead of “once daily” can cause confusion. Dr. Amit Kumar Sinha shares his experience, “HealthPlix EMR solves for this problem by letting doctors enter the medication and timings clearly into the digital prescriptions when they consult with their patients.”
Make sure patients understand their treatment
Making sure that patients are informed about their own care is also vital to preventing errors. “Simply asking patients to recall and restate what they’ve been told is a good strategy to follow. With the HealthPlix EMR, doctors can create an intelligible prescription in the regional language of their patients. This helps the doctors verify that they understand their treatment plan, medication and medical procedures”, Dr. Sinha suggests. This gives them the information they need to notice and prevent errors in their own care.
Staying connected to patients at home
We’ve seen telehealth and remote patient monitoring adopted like never before during COVID-19. Telehealth solutions and technology like the HealthPlix EMR enable monitoring of a patient’s vitals from a distance.
This helped the doctors and healthcare system across regions in India to offer care safely and sustainably during the pandemic. “This also helped us engage with COVID-19 patients who do not require hospitalization from afar, ensuring the hospital is a safe environment for high-acuity patients who urgently need in-person care”, says Dr. Sinha. Remote patient monitoring has proved to be particularly useful for those who are vulnerable to COVID-19, such as those with chronic or complex conditions and pregnant women.
A Patient-centric Future
While advancing safety through technology is investment and time intensive, the payout – lower infection rate, improved patient outcomes and reduced costs – has never been more critical. Patient and clinician safety is essential in controlling the COVID-19 spread and such infections. Today’s adoption of connected devices will not only evolve both the clinical relevance and confidence of monitoring people remotely when required but also empower patients to engage in their own care journey, advancing both patient and staff safety for years to come.
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.