Ensure Your Patients’ Safety With These Seven Tips
If you’ve been part of the healthcare sector, you’re well aware of how a minute oversight can lead to a big disaster. According to a medical journal, about 9.5% of all deaths in the United States happen because of medical negligence. These can be ignoring important lab reports, improper medication, or unnecessary surgery. Medical negligence reflects poorly on a hospital’s reputation and pushes patients to distrust healthcare service providers and practitioners.
Fortunately, the healthcare sector realizes that most of these problems are avoidable. So there is a need to address how patients need to be cared for in a hospital. You can play your part by paying attention to how you can reduce errors as a healthcare provider. It is only through an organizational effort to reduce the mistakes and limit the harm that patients can receive the best care.
This article has listed ways you can enhance your hospital’s approach towards patients and their safety. With consistent effort, the statistic of patient’s deaths will steadily go down, and here’s how:
Rapidly respond to all cases as a team
There are always several patients coming to the hospital every day. You need to respond to them immediately as a team. You need to make a quick assessment and deduce their status. The number of team members can only be assigned when the severity of the situation is understood.
You want to ensure that the patient is immediately taken care of and isn’t rapidly losing time as you try to maneuver a treatment. With more hands-on-deck, it is easier to take records/readings and administer care simultaneously.
Learn more skills
Healthcare practitioners must continually upgrade their current knowledge base and skill set to improve their routine practice and ensure better patient treatment and safety. Fortunately, programs such as online DNP programs and various others that up-skill professionals for clinical and non-clinical excellence are a great way to enhance their education. Education in healthcare/medicine extends beyond prescribing and applying treatments to patients. It also consists of skills and procedures that practitioners learn and employ to ensure patients’ safety.
Higher education helps practitioners enhance their critical thinking and apply their knowledge for better patient safety and outcomes. Unless healthcare providers know how to administer treatment without mistakes swiftly, their understanding will amount to nothing.
Prevent blood infections
You want to ensure that any hypodermic needle you handle is sterile and ready for use. It also implies that your hands are clean and prepared to hold the necessary equipment. You also want to ensure the surface you insert the needle into is sterile and that you can easily spot the blood vessels. Once you have collected the patient’s blood or made a blood transfusion, update your records and label the samples.
Suppose a patient is carrying a harmful disease. In that case, you’ll need to separate their blood sample to avoid any risk of contamination. The same logic applies to blood banks. Before you can transfuse blood, ensure they are screened and stored appropriately under the right temperature. If you’re not careful, you can introduce Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or HIV into the patient’s system. In some cases, the blood infection may be fatal.
Be vigilant about discharge
When a patient is in the process of getting discharged, it warrants extra attention from you. The last thing you want is a patient coming back or showing no signs of recovery when they’re home. It might help if you assigned a team member to work closely with the patient. They should go over the expected recovery timeline. Please explain how the medicines should be consumed in detail and inform them about necessary follow-ups.
It will help if the hospital creates an easy discharge chart. A computer-generated chart will not only be legible, but it is also more organized. The discharge report should contain their medications, diet plan, and other necessary safety measures at home. You should also include all medical appointments and emergency numbers in case of a problem arises.
Educate patients on their medication
Some medicines require a prescription, while some are over-the-counter. In any case, the patient should know how to use their drugs and when to stop. As a healthcare provider, it is your responsibility to ensure a patient is not addicted to medicines such as painkillers. Specific medication such as blood thinners can cause uncontrollable bleeding and must not be taken without proper supervision. It is usually given to a patient to prevent blood clots.
It would help if you had a detailed discussion with your patient. You can even provide them with a booklet or email them more information to read. You want the patient to know what to expect from their medicines regarding outcomes and side effects and how a drug treatment plan goes.
It is not uncommon for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners to experience work-related fatigue due to long hours and understaffing on the job. But this should not be the case. Hospitals need to ensure that no healthcare provider is overworked. If this entails expanding the staff and dividing them between different shifts, the healthcare facility needs to do this.
As a healthcare practitioner, you should be vocal if you are exhausted and need rest. Draw boundaries for yourself, and chalk out a schedule with your hospital for better healthcare outcomes and patient safety. A tired and exhausted staff results in more mistakes and does more harm than good in the long run.
Have a better hospital design
A hospital should follow an extremely functional structure. There should be nurse stations throughout the hospital to prevent patients from looking for them. A patient’s room should always be sterile with an improved air filtration system. The patient should also have high sanitation facilities and a bathroom that is clean and disinfected thoroughly.
Designate private spaces to write all necessary details and patiently review them before giving them to the patient. You may even collaborate with Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) to learn how you can further improve healthcare. They can even guide you where your hospital can be better, such as more nursing stations.
Patients come to hospitals in a vulnerable state. Simple negligence may cost their lives. As a healthcare provider, you can take several steps to ensure their safety. Always respond to cases as a team and secure the patient when they enter the hospital. You should learn more skills that can make you act faster. It would be best if you learned how to handle medical equipment that can cause blood infections.
Guide patients when they’re getting discharged. You should also educate them on their medicines. Hospitals should also make sure to limit shifts so that doctors aren’t exhausted. Finally, improve your hospital’s design system for a smooth and safe healthcare system.