“Patient Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility”, says the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (“Ministry”) came up with a document, which provides a formal institutional framework with respect to patient safety.
The Ministry tried to integrate all aspects of patient safety in this threefold document in a holistic way expecting contributions from Central and State Governments, patient right groups, medical educational institutions, health care service providers, agencies for quality and accreditation and other stakeholders.
This documents works like a patient safety manual and it mandates to establish grievance reporting mechanism, capacity building, infection control and other patient safety measures.
One of the most important and fundamental element of health care is patient safety. The aspects of patient safety encompasses both medical and non-medical domains and majorly because of this very diversification in operational field, it faces problems due to errors in communication, management of patients and most importantly errors in clinical performances. The problems as mentioned can be very well be solved by adopting quality assurance services such as adopting new technologies available in health sector, educating the staffs involved in health care sector and by having a diligent reporting system. The Ministry has tried to unity one framework regarding the same in this document. This framework document is intended for adoption by both private and public sector.
The document firstly discussed the present scenario and existing lacunas with respect to the issue of patient safety then it deals with goals, guidelines and strategies for overcoming the present hurdle and finally stressed on the action plan. This document is having far reaching implications despite of being a policy level document.
Recommendations for Action Plan:
The Ministry has prescribed the followings measures for improving the patient handling system and patient safety system:
- Institutionalize patient safety by strengthening legislative and regulatory framework.
- By strengthening quality assurance mechanism including accreditation system.
- Establishing a culture of patient safety by taking steps towards improving communication skills, patient identification procedures, patient transfer protocols.
- Establishing a culture of involving patients as partners in their own care.
- By putting a strong surveillance system in place with respect to patient safety.
- Educating and giving professional trainings to health care personnel.
- Creating an infection prevention mechanism and control structure for the same all across the healthcare services at all levels of care.
- Providing appropriately cleaned, disinfected or sterilized equipment for patient care.
- Providing a safe and clean environment by improving the general hygiene sanitation and management of healthcare waste in healthcare facilities.
- Ensuring full proof safety with respect to blood transfusion, medication, usage of medical devices, Safe organ, tissue and cell transplantation and donation.
Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare