Hospitals are under constant scrutiny, and that’s for a good reason. While the health sector may be all about protecting and caring for human lives, it is not uncommon for them to make mistakes. Some of these mistakes happen due to the staff’s negligence, such as not reading medical charts correctly.
Some errors may be accidental, such as a health care worker overburdened with an onslaught of patients. No matter what the case, These guidelines ensure that healthcare workers know what they need to know in every situation. It also assures patients that they’re in capable hands. Here’s how hospitals can upgrade their patient safety and look after patients well:
1.Have a Safety Policy in Place
Hospitals need to have written policies in place. Healthcare workers are always on the move, and it doesn’t occur to them what they should do. Having policies scattered around the hospital can prevent several accidents from happening. These policies can inform health care practitioners what to do during emergencies. Where the exit doors are and how to escort patients out. It can also tell the staff what level of precaution is necessary at times of an outbreak.
2.Communicate with Patients
A healthcare practitioner should have a conversation beyond the standard procedure. Nurses are the health care professional who sees a patient first and can answer any questions a patient might have and update them on the standard treatment. It reduces errors and comforts a patient as the element of uncertainty is removed. To know the latest communication skills, today, nurses have a chance to upgrade themselves according to the latest standards while continuing their current job. They can opt for an MSN online degree to upgrade themselves according to the latest standards.
3.Proper Waste Disposal
Hospitals deal with a large number of wastes every day. These are used syringes, contaminated excretion, and contaminated blood. If hospitals are not careful, they can accidentally come into contact with a patient. Using contaminated needles and blood transfusions with contaminated blood can cause HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C, respectively. Therefore hospitals should ensure there is proper waste management. Trash cans should be appropriately labeled. Any equipment that needs adequate disinfection after usage should have a separate bin. Patients should also not remain in the same hospital garments for long. They should be allowed to change frequently depending on their disease.
4.Train Staff with Technical Skills
Technology can ease off immense burden from the hospital sector. However, healthcare practitioners need proper training to ensure that they’re able to use the system. Nurses who have done a DNP program online can become great leaders. They can take charge of these sessions and adequately guide the staff with their extensive knowledge and guidance. Technical skills include digital record keeping. A monitoring system allows hospitals to use the hospital’s database to track a patient’s medical records. It also includes operating machines to carry out lab tests. It also prevents any mishaps from occurring while operating machines.
5.Disinfect Patient Rooms
Communal and private rooms both need to be disinfected from time to time. That is because hospitals see several patients, some of which are immunocompromised. A hospital cannot risk an outbreak or patients getting exposed to each other’s pathogens. Disinfection helps keep the hygiene levels high and keeps a patient safe from new infections.
6.Educate Patients on Medicines
Not every medication patients take safe and easy to use. Some carry an extremely high dosage that needs administration in a very controlled manner. These include blood thinners and pain killers such as oxytocin. Health care workers such as doctors and nurses need to guide a patient on medicine usage. If a patient is using antibiotics, inform them of the timeline of a complete antibiotic course. Pain killers can become addictive, so there needs to be strict monitoring on how many pills a patient can consume in a day. It is also essential to inform a patient how to keep track of the medicines they need to take. If it’s an older patient, they should use a pill organizer with labels including date and time. Negligence on this level can cause a patient to overdose, or their condition may relapse.
Sending a patient home is the happiest moment for any hospital. But the burden of responsibilities does not end there. Patients need to know what their discharge situation consists of. If a patient needs dialysis or needs to come back in for chemo, they should know how frequently they need to go for a session. Patients going from surgery must know how to change their bandages, take their medicines, and monitor symptoms. If a patient is recovering after some illness such as typhoid, inform them of at-home care. If a patient is ready to go home but needs home assistance, arrange a stay-home nurse for them. All of these measures prevent patients from neglecting their health and getting readmitted.
8.Double Check all Procedures
Doctors should check every patient with a nurse present. It is because nurses can witness the treatment a doctor prescribes while taking notes. So the next time the doctor comes in for a follow-up, they can run the information with the patient. Hospitals can further streamline these processes by assigning unique identifiers to patients. These can be barcode numbers or serial numbers. A health care professional can scan these identifiers and consult the hospital’s database to verify the treatment. Doctors can also ask the patients to indicate where they’re feeling pain and confirm the treatment route. It can prevent severe mishaps from occurring, such as wrong medication, incorrect surgery, or wrong diagnoses.
9.Encourage Family Members to Come Forward
Hospitals should allow at least one or two family members to come with the patient. An extra pair of eyes can make sure there is no misdirection in the treatment route. Hospitals should also turn towards digitization discharge or prescription papers providing a copy to the family present. It can enhance patient safety as now the patient has a source to verify their information from. Usually, patients are disoriented when getting treated, so a family can step in and ask questions for them. They can even double-check with the doctors and should be allowed access to clinical notes. All of these cultivate a safe patient environment.
For hospitals, there is nothing more important than patient safety. Hospitals can implement several steps to ensure this happens. Hospitals should have safety policies throughout to keep doctors informed at all times. Part of the safety policy is to train the staff, disinfect rooms and keep high hygiene standards. There should be transparency and consistent guidance between the patient and the doctor. Doctors should also double-check any procedure, and nurses should step in to guide patients when they’re leaving. Family members should be encouraged to be part of the process to ask questions and help patients recover fast.
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