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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 100-101

Envisaging patient safety in health-care settings: Need of the hour


1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission15-Sep-2019
Date of Decision23-Oct-2019
Date of Acceptance18-Dec-2019
Date of Web Publication23-Apr-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu - 603108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/bjhs.bjhs_48_19

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  Abstract 


The concept of patient safety came into existence owing to the complexity attributed to the health systems and the rising incidence of patient harms in health care facilities. It won't be wrong to say that patient harm in healthcare is intolerable, especially the ones resulting because of the error in the diagnosis, prescription or the use of medicines. The need of the hour is to establish a culture that fosters linkage with patients, boosts reporting and learning from mistakes and establishes a safe environment wherein health professionals are empowered and well-trained to minimize their errors. In conclusion, patient safety during health care delivery is an essential prerequisite to accomplish health system strengthening and move forward towards the attainment of universal health coverage. The time has come when patient safety has to be regarded as one of the global health priorities and focused actions are taken to achieve improved health outcomes.

Keywords: Patient safety, Healthcare, World Health Organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Envisaging patient safety in health-care settings: Need of the hour. BLDE Univ J Health Sci 2021;6:100-1

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Envisaging patient safety in health-care settings: Need of the hour. BLDE Univ J Health Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 9];6:100-1. Available from: https://www.bldeujournalhs.in/text.asp?2021/6/1/100/283086



The concept of patient safety came into existence owing to the complexity attributed to the health systems and the rising incidence of patient harms in health care facilities.[1] The available global estimates suggest that adverse events subsequent to the poor quality of care are among the top ten reasons of mortality and disability.[1],[2] Further, it has been identified that 10% of the patients availing health care in developed nations are harmed, of which 50% of the incidents are preventable.[2] However, in the low and middle income nations, in excess of 2.5 million deaths have been reported each year.[2] In addition, the personal and socioeconomic impact of patient harm has resulted in the loss of trillions of dollars across the globe.[2]

Need of the hour

All these are alarming estimates and clearly suggest that a lot needs to be done to stem the rise of harms in health care settings.[3] It won't be wrong to say that patient harm in health care is intolerable, especially the ones resulting because of the error in the diagnosis, prescription, or the use of medicines.[2],[3] The aim is to avoid and minimize the risks or harms (viz., medication errors, nosocomial infections, unsafe surgical interventions, unsafe injections, and diagnostic errors), which are quite common in health facilities.[2],[4] There are no doubts that the offered health care should not only be effective and customized to the needs of the people, but also be safe.[1],[2],[3]

Areas to strengthen

However, it is important to understand that it cannot be ensured in a single day; in the real sense, it is a continuous process and the health care has to improve daily.[4] The need of the hour is to establish a culture that fosters linkage with patients, boosts reporting and learning from mistakes, and establishes a safe environment wherein health professionals are empowered and well trained to minimize their errors.[4],[5] It is quite obvious that better involvement of patients through augmentation of public awareness and engagement will be crucial in this mission, and the available estimates suggest that by engagement of patients, we will reduce the magnitude of the problem by 15% and simultaneously save billions of dollars annually.[2]

Potential strategies

Moreover, there is a big time need for the provision of global leadership; involvement of all the stakeholders; formulation of standard operating procedures for different activities in health settings; creating a cohort of skilled health care professionals; and establishment of a mechanism to monitor the improvements and intensify research activities.[2],[3],[4],[5] However, not much can be sustained unless there is a financial support to fuel all the initiatives, and it becomes even more important because of the fact that the extent of investments required for prevention activities is much lesser than what is required for the treatment of the adverse effects.[2],[4]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, patient safety during health care delivery is an essential prerequisite to accomplish health system's strengthening and move forward toward the attainment of universal health coverage. The time has come when patient safety has to be regarded as one of the global health priorities and focused actions have to be taken to achieve improved health outcomes.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Ensuring global patient safety by minimizing medication-related errors: World Health Organization. Biol Med (Aligarh) 2017;9:e126.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. Patient Safety – Key Facts. World Health Organization; 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/patient-safety. [Last accessed on 2019 Sep 15].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Improving patient safety standards in hospitals: A global public health concern. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:275-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
4.
World Health Organization. WHO Calls for Urgent Action to Reduce Patient Harm in Healthcare. World Health Organization; 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/13-09-2019-who-calls-for-urgent- action-to-reduce-patient-harm-in-healthcare. [Last accessed on 2019 Sep 15]  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Wang Y, Han H, Qiu L, Liu C, Wang Y, Liu W. Development of a patient safety culture scale for maternal and child health institutions in China: A cross-sectional validation study. BMJ Open 2019;9:e025607.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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