Patient safety is a discipline that emphasises safety in health care through the prevention, reduction, reporting, and analysis of medical error that often leads to adverse effects.
Errors continue to put millions of patients at risk annually, but nurses are in a position to prevent many mistakes and improve patient outcomes.
Following are JCI’s International Patient Safety Goals (IPSG) which is practiced in many hospitals
Goal 1: Identify patients correctly
Goal 2: Improve effective communication
Goal 3: Medication Safety
Goal 4: Ensure safe surgery
Goal 5: Reduce the risk of health care-associated infections
Goal 6: Reduce the risk of patient harm resulting from falls
Goal 7:Prevent Pressure Ulcers
Nurses can make a substantial impact on safety by following some simple measures.
Support a culture of safety
The cultures of safety are essential in order for us to correct the issue of frequent error and harm. Everyone in the health care team is responsible for safety
It’s all about communication and collaboration
Nurses should speak up if they observe something unsafe about to happen, equipment does not work or they need assistance moving a patient. Sometimes, nurses can bring these issues forward when management rounds on units or by meeting with a nurse leader.
Perform basic care and follow checklists
Fairly simple things, like providing oral care and turning patients, are very important and should not be skipped. There is an association between missed care and increased error and harm.
For instance, studies show good oral care can reduce the risk of pneumonia. And a patient not turned can develop a decubitus ulcer.
A simple way is to use checklists and time outs before procedures to cut down on medical errors. An hourly rounding, with nurses checking on patients and their need to use the restroom, be repositioned can be of great help.
Engage your patients
There is no question, better patient engagement improves the safety of care.
That includes asking the patient about his or her goals and listening when the patient questions the care being given as it prompts discussion and teaching.
Patients and families must be empowered to call a “help alert” system, if they feel caregivers are not addressing their current needs. It makes the patients and families feel safe.
Learn from incidents and near misses
“To prevent errors, we need to understand what causes them,”
Root cause analysis, methodically looks at all of the facts. Nurses are motivated to implement same after each incident is reported
Briefing about a fall or other incident needs to happen immediately, so details are not forgotten.
Basic few steps and precaution can go a long way in patient safety and satisfaction
Let all nurses’ be reminded time and again that
“The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do no harm”
Ms Mini S Nair
KJ Somaiya Hospital Super speciality Centre