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Table of Contents   
LETTER TO THE EDITOR  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 275-276
Improving patient safety standards in hospitals: A global public health concern


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication5-May-2017
 

How to cite this article:
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

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Improving patient safety standards in hospitals: A global public health concern. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Nov 20];10:275-6. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/1/275/205568
Dear Sir,

Ensuring patient safety in the health care set-up is an important global public health concern and is a crucial component of achieving universal health coverage worldwide.[1] In fact, the recent findings suggest that almost 10% of the patients will experience some form of harms during their hospital stay in developed nations alone.[2] In addition, the risk of an individual being harmed during health care is extremely high when compared with other high-risk sector like aviation or nuclear industries.[1],[2]

Across the world, the international stakeholders have acknowledged the importance of improvement in patient safety, and a global resolution has also been developed.[2],[3] It has been estimated that in the range of 20–40% of the money spent on the health sector by the government is wasted due to poor-quality care, which results in extra admissions, legal expenses, disabilities, decreased work productivity, and again medical expenses.[1],[2] Further, even today, a major proportion of the world's population has no access to appropriate medical devices within the health care delivery system, especially in low- and middle-income nations.[2]

Recognizing the adverse consequences associated with unsafe care and the indispensable need to improve patient safety, a wide range of elements like structure (viz. framework to encourage interaction with patients and families regarding patient safety-related issues, training sessions for patient safety-related issues, etc.), process (such as surveys about patient safety, estimation of prevalence of hospital acquired infections, compliance with basic hygiene, etc.), and outcome (like number of complaints received about patient safety, mistakes in antibiotic prescriptions, assessment of patient records, etc.) has been identified.[1],[2],[4] In fact, owing to the constant efforts, the incidence of unsafe injections has decreased by more than 85% over the 1st decade of the 21st century.[2]

It is very important to realize that only with the aid of simple and low-cost infection prevention and control measures, like hand hygiene, almost 50% of the incidence of nosocomial infections can be averted.[2],[3] The findings of a study done among surgical patients revealed that if patients take a bath before surgery, surgeons consistently practice hand-washing, minimize movement of people across operation theater, adhere to the standard skin preparation, and by prescribing appropriate surgical antibiotic prophylaxis, the rates of hospital-acquired infections can be reduced to almost half.[3] Furthermore, as the patients stay in the hospital for lesser time, it is beneficial for the patient, hospital, and the health system from the financial perspective.[2],[3]

Moreover, the process to perform a safe surgery essentially depends on teamwork and each member plays a defining role.[1],[5] However, ensuring empowerment of the patient and community and building linkages with the hospital stakeholders remains the crucial factor to promote not only patient safety, but also even paves a way to develop solutions to the operational problems in patient care.[1],[2],[5]

To conclude, there is no doubt that millions of patients are affected worldwide each year due to improper patient safety practices. Even though, the rate of complications has been reduced to some extent, the true measure of success will be defined by the persistent change in the infection control practices, and still a long road is yet to be covered.

Acknowledgement

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

1.
Gandhi TK, Berwick DM, Shojania KG. Patient safety at the crossroads. JAMA 2016;315:1829-30.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]    
2.
World Health Organization10 facts on patient safety; 2014. Available from: http://who.int/features/factfiles/patient_safety/en/. [Accessed 2016 May 4].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health OrganizationClosing doors stops deadly surgical site infections in Uganda; 2016. Available from: http://who.int/features/2016/surgical-site-infections/en/. [Accessed 2016 May 5].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Ridelberg M, Roback K, Nilsen P, Carlfjord S. Patient safety work in Sweden: quantitative and qualitative analysis of annual patient safety reports. BMC Health Serv Res 2016;16:98.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]    
5.
Gaffey AD. Setting priorities for reducing risk and advancing patient safety. J Healthc Risk Manag 2016;35:3.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]    

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Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur Guduvanchery Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.205568

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