Patient safety is of the utmost importance in hospitals, and each and every hospital worker has their part in ensuring patient safety. Here are some things to consider when making sure your patients are happy, healthy and safe.
1. Inform Patients
Not all patient safety is the responsibility of medical workers. Some falls into the hands of patients themselves, and this is why informing and educating patients is essential. Patients will always rely on their healthcare professionals, but they need to be given the proper knowledge of their treatment risks and aftercare. A good practice is to make a patient recall, and even recite, what care instructions they are given. A patient’s family or caretaker should be informed as well.
2. Verify All Medical Procedures
It’s not just the urban legend that we’ve all heard. The wrong procedure can and has been performed on patients. Building regular verification processes into your procedures helps prevent errors like these. One such standard of verification is the Universal Protocol. Surgical errors are lowered by allowing any member of a surgical team to stop a procedure to verify that the details of the surgery are being initiated correctly.
3. Proper Hand Washing
Even the smallest things can have a big impact on patient safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites proper hand washing as one of the best ways to stop the spread of germs and prevent infections in hospitals. This is made even more prevalent today in the age of COVID-19. It is recommended that hospitals use alcohol-based sanitizer. They should also ensure that not only all staff, but patients as well, are educated in the importance of proper hand hygiene.
4. Positive Atmosphere
Every staff member plays a part in maintaining patient safety. A group that works as a team will create a safer environment. Staff must also be educated in patient safety, and hold each other accountable in ensuring these practices are maintained.
5. Design Principles
Following principles for hospital design will improve patient safety. Hospitals can prevent falls by providing well-designed patient rooms and bathrooms and creating decentralized nurses' stations that allow easy access to patients. Infections can be minimized by offering single bed rooms when possible, improving air filtration systems, and providing as many locations for hand washing as possible. Good lighting and noise reduction are also factors to think about, for both staff and patients, when ensuring safety.
6. Use Monitoring Technology
Healthcare staff are often responsible for multiple patients at once during their shift, with each patient being different in their needs. The use of monitoring technology will help staff ensure that the right procedures are being followed, and each patients’ needs are being met. Technology, such as patient alarms to notify staff if any parameters are crossed or a barcode system that verify patient medication, are measures many facilities take to ensure that patients are safe. Monitoring systems like these provide an easy way to catch and prevent harm from human error.