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Ensuring safe healthcare

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Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit
In order to raise awareness and drive worldwide intervention for the safety of patients, World Patient Safety Day was observed on 17th September that inspires countries across the globe to prioritize patient safety in the healthcare system.
World Patient Safety Day was created in May 2019 when the World Health Assembly adopted the resolution for global action on patient safety. “Medication Safety” has been chosen as the theme of World Patient Safety Day 2022 and this global campaign looks to involve all the stakeholders to prioritize and take early action in eliminating risky medical practices.
Patient safety has always been the heart of healthcare practice and nursing through the history of medicine. Delivering the right care at the right time in the right setting is the core mission of hospitals across the country. Patient safety event is a wide term; it does not only mean a medical error during the course of medical management and nursing but a patient safety event as an incident, which takes place during providing a health care service.
Healthcare workers can improve patient safety by adopting several safe practices in administering care. It could be as simple as providing patients access to medical records and notes. Patient safety has always been the heart of healthcare practice and nursing through the history of medicine.
Unsafe medication practices and medication errors are the leading cause of avoidable harm in health-care across the world. Patient safety is the absence of preventable harm to a patient during the healthcare process and reduction of risk of unnecessary harm associated with healthcare to an acceptable minimum.
The WHO, at the meeting held on July 2006, in New Delhi, India, identified an adverse event as a separate unconnected incident associated with health care, which results in in-deliberate injury, illness, or death. Such incidents can be preventable as with contaminated injections.
There are many reasons that make the ICU a special unit to look at specifically as regards patient safety. Of these reason, the patients are critically ill, which renders them vulnerable to the adverse effect of medical errors.
Globally, approximately 810 people die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In addition, around 6,700 newborns die every day, amounting to 47% of all under-5 deaths. Moreover, about 2 million babies are stillborn every year, with over 40% occurring during labour.
Thus, it becomes important to realise the magnitude of the harm caused by medical errors which can be avoided. Thus, the day becomes significant to raise awareness. The cost of adverse events that endanger patient safety can be very high, considering all the aspects.
It includes, loss of confidence and credibility and reputation of health care institutions, loss of enthusiasm and job gratification among the working staff. As per WHO, investing in safety policies and standardizing policies in this direction can significantly reduce expenses in healthcare.
(The author hails from Jodhpur Tekra, Ahmedabad)

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