The Value of Hospital Safety to Patient Welfare and Disease Control
등록일 2019년 01월 07일 목요일
수정일 2017년 11월 02일 목요일

Photo by: Tyler Olson via Shutterstock

The Roseland Community Hospital in Illinois received a failing grade for hospital safety from the semiannual ratings by the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit group that evaluates hospital performance.Hospitals that fail on safety can lead to disasters, such as human tragedy and the spread of infection.

The Leapfrog Group graded the hospital with an F based on 27 criteria about hospital safety including hand hygiene, intensive care unit physician staffing, bedsores, and accidental falls.Experts' reactions are mixed with regard to letting patients base their decisions on a single grade but agree on the point that this result should not be ignored, as well.

"I think they should question whether or not they should get care in that hospital.Hospital mistakes and safety issues are the third-highest cause of death in this country, so it's not to be taken lightly," said Larry Boress, president and CEO of the Midwest Business Group on Health.

Tim Egan, president and CEO of Roseland Community Hospital, said that the information used by the nonprofit group was not up to date.The hospital was not able to finish the survey because of the lack of resources and was focused on re-accreditation to the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program.The satisfaction of patients rose between 2016 and 2017 in different criteria, according to Egan.

Hospital and Patients Safety Guidance

The safety of patients is a top priority in hospitals and a team composed of strong healthcare staff can reduce infection rates, minimize mistakes, and improve communication within the hospital between workers and patients.If the hospital team is not at their best, patients will be the ones to suffer from consequences, such as slow recovery and untimely death.

1.InfectionsThere are several infections that can occur in hospitals.Proper hygiene, such as handwashing, is the key to reducing the chance of infections to spread to patients and hospital staff.The methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infections are both multi-drug resistant and can potentially kill patients.Other infections that should be monitored are the central line-associated bloodstream infection and catheter-associated urinary tract infections that may affect patients in the intensive care unit, and a surgical site infection after a colon surgery has been performed.

2.Surgery ProblemsThe mistakes in surgical procedures can endanger the lives of patients.Commonly reported mistakes in surgery include objects left inside the patient's body after the procedure, the surgery wound site splits open, unexpected death of the patient from treatable serious complications, and accidental cuts and tears.

3.Safety PracticesHospitals practice safety by following ways to avoid critical errors.These methods are important for the safety of patients and better communication between hospital team members.The safety practices include handwashing, communication of the staff about patient discharge and medicines, coordination of staff members to prevent errors, and the use of a computerized system to order medications.

4.Safety ProblemsThere are many problems that normally occur in hospitals and the staff is expected to be in control to avoid disaster.Most commonly safety problems that need to be prevented include bed sores in patients, accidental falls of patients, and development of air or a gas bubble in the patient's blood which can lead to stroke or death,

5.Efficient Hospital StaffPatients are expecting that every member of the hospital staff can do their job properly.The lack of knowledge, skill, and training can endanger a patient during medical procedures -- whether simple or complex.The measurement for hospital staff efficiency includes an adequate amount of qualified nurses, trained physicians for ICU patients, responsive staff during emergencies, effective leadership of related team members to prevent errors, and stable communication between doctors and nurses.

About 440,000 people die each year because of hospital errors, injuries, accidents, and infections, and 1 out 25 patients develop a hospital-acquired infection while staying in the hospital each year, according to Hospital Safety Grade.

What Can Patients Do to Help with Safety?

As patients, you have the capacity to help improve safety in hospitals.You can report related incidents if you witness such or if it happened to you.

- Report the incident to someone immediately.You can report it to your bedside nurse, your clinician, or another hospital staff.

- Do not delay in reporting the incident.Your safety is as important as your healthcare and all medical personnel will welcome any relevant reports.

- When reporting an incident, discuss it in a respectful yet assertive manner.Nobody wants to make a mistake and letting your caregiver, nurse, or doctor know can quicken its resolution.

- In case the incident happened to you, discuss it with a hospital employee that can make an investigation and resolution of the problem.You also want to make it clear that you expect to get feedback about the incident and you want to see some progress.Your family may also follow up on the progress of the investigation.

- You can also report incidents using an established system designed to receive complaints, comments, and incident reports.In some hospitals, a suggestion box and a hotline are available.

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