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How to Improve Hospital Safety

2 years ago  •  Add Comment  •  by Donna Bliss

Your patients are only as safe as the medical centers they’re receiving treatment in. improving hospital safety should always be of upmost priority. Below are a number of recommendations and measures that can be put in place to improve hospital safety for both patients and staff.

Many hospitals already have some of these measures in place or may not be suitable to adopt others. It’s important to assess weak spots within your hospital before putting your safety improvement plan into place in order to ensure proper performance.

Careful and Safe Transitional Care Measures

When moving patients from one care unit to another, have as many measures as possible to ensure that the transportation is safe and catered to the individual. This may include having wheelchairs available, keeping the hallways well lit, or having one (or more) staff available to escort the patient until they’re in the care of the next medical department or care unit.

Proper Inventory Management

Managing supplies is one of the most important aspects of patient safety and care.  While it is almost always an ongoing battle between how much of a product is intended to be used versus how much is actually used, hospitals need to effectively monitor and maintain stock levels. Inventory management can sometimes mean  life or death situation for some patients.

Reduce overall readmissions

The best way to keep people out of a hospital with a recurring problem is making sure it doesn’t pose a problem in the future. To reduce the likelihood of readmissions, make sure the patient is actually fit for release. The resources spent treating them for a week longer will be less than readmitting them. This will, in the long run, keep people healthier and safer.

Have an Emergency Action Plan

To keep everyone safe, it is best to have an emergency action plan in place to ensure a quick response in case of an emergency such as:

  • Bomb threats
  • Aggressive patient/unknown person
  • Disease outbreak
  • Fire
  • Sudden influx in patients requiring immediate care
  • Lack of resources causing a decline in patient care
  • Patient death

Keep in mind that the action-plan for each threat depends on each hospital and the emergency services that are available.

Proper Communication

Communication is key, not only between patients and hospital staff but between the entire hospital health-care team.  Effective communication amongst all individuals can help ensure accuracy of patient diagnosis and care. Opening lines of communication encourages a collaborative environment, which is beneficial for both the patient and health care professional.

Implement workshops and seminars

Most health departments have seminars or courses that are available for medical centres to use to better educate their staff and officials. Continueing education efforts are a good way to keep employees on top of safety laws and regulations.

Uphold above-standard hygiene levels

The less germs the better. Having a hygiene level that is above the standard is just one more measure that will keep the hospital safer. This includes using sterile needles at all times, washing hands before/after handling any patient or medical equipment, using clean sheets on beds, and having nightly and daily cleaning staff.

Improve on-site security

Having security guards on-site may help deal with some of the issues that arise that are outside the hospitals day-to-day medical emergencies. When it comes to individual safety, having lockable rooms and special access rooms will help keep patients and/or important documents safe.

Increase available health resources

This can be everything from social and mental health services for patients and their families to counseling services for the healthcare team. The more resources available to staff and patients, the better.

Although exact structure will vary between one hospital to the next, patient safety should always be top priorty.  Strong action planning and implemenation of the best practices listed above can and will result in the increase of patient safety. 

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