Patient Safety

Patient safety refers to a new subject matter affecting healthcare which gives more emphasis on analysis, reporting and prevention of errors arising from medical activities which lead to undesirable medical effects. It is until the 1990’s that patient safety came into the limelight when a number of countries raised a red flag due to the fact that a large number of patients had been killed and others harmed as a result of the medical errors. In light of this, these countries pioneered to make public this discovery and proposed and number of measures to be used to curb and reduce the number of fatalities.

Healthcare institutions must ensure that their patients feel comfortable and safe while they are receiving services at the institutions. This may be achieved through a number of ways. To begin with, these institutions must train their employees and other practitioners on how to be accountable for their actions. In essence therefore, this will ensure that when a mistake occurs, it would be traceable and the person responsible is held accountable for his/her actions. This will leave no room for blame-games.

The individual or the personal approach has always been used to manage mistakes, errors and failures. In this approach persons directly involved with the patient care during the period that the incident occurs are held accountable for their actions. This has been the common way for solving these problems hence creating a blame culture. However, it has not been very effective and hence any system improvements cannot be effective while the blame game culture is still at play. Procedures and policies could be altered to inform healthcare practitioners on the various ways of how to reduce healthcare errors and mistakes.

In addition to this, health care leaders proposed very conclusive arguments that were geared to coming up with solutions to the patient safety concerns. According to them, redesigning processes and systems through human factors was viable. This is because the majority of these mistakes and errors were as a result of standardization, design, simplification among others human constraints.

In conclusion therefore, patient safety has in the present day and age been considered as one of the pillars of the healthcare system and could be detrimental when a healthcare institution fails to guarantee patient safety. Many large international organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO) have made it their core business the force healthcare institutions to invest in facilities that guarantee patient safety. At the same time, they have continually educated and enlightened the masses on their rights and the procedures to follow in the event that errors and mistakes occurs as they receive healthcare services.

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