Patient Safety and Patient Health Are Mutually Exclusive
Hospitals and medical facilities alike, are challenged each day with the responsibility of keeping their patients healthy while also keeping them safe. With these goals and challenges at hand, medical staff find that they are both intertwined. Patient safety concerns find themselves going hand-and-hand with patient health concerns. With areas such as administering medication, patient transfers, and hand hygiene are just a few to note.
Unfortunately, there are alarming statistics to back up this grave concern in the medical world:
- Over 400,000 people die every year from hospital errors, injuries, accidents or infections
- Every year, 1 out of 25 patients develops a preventable infection in a hospital
- In a single day, more than 1000 people die from a preventable hospital error
- Medicare patients have a 1 in 4 chance of experiencing injury or death when admitted to a hospital
- As many as 1 in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care
The issues that lead to failed patient safety stem from a multitude of problems at the patient care level. As mentioned above, infections continue to be a grand issue in the hospital setting. These infections can occur from improper hand hygiene and managing antimicrobial stewardship. Not only do 1 out of 25 patients contract a preventable infection in a hospital, but this is a substantial financial burden on the industry as well. The cost to treat these preventable infections is nearly $10 billion each year.
Falls are also a common injury occurring in the hospital setting with over 500,000 falls occurring each year in U.S. hospitals, resulting in 150,000 injuries. Patient falls are more likely when the patient is: older than 60, experiencing muscle weakness, using a cane or walker to be mobile, or perhaps a medicated patient can increase their chances of falling. These falls are preventable and through the proper protocols, a hospital can better protect their patients from experiencing injuries.
These errors tend to be most common and most costly of all the safety issues in the hospital setting. A diagnostic error is when a patient’s diagnosis is either incorrect, delayed or missed entirely. They can also stem from equipment failure in the hospital resulting in a failed communication or inaccurate data. Though these errors can be of “no-fault”, many are preventable and rely on the medical professional being as thorough as possible in their examination.
According to the Institute of Medicine, an estimated 1.5 million are at risk of medication harm each year resulting in not only endangering the patient’s life, but also incurring $3.5 billion in extra medical costs. These errors can come from the wrong medication being provided, the wrong medication being prescribed, the wrong dosage being directed and even medication being administered in an incorrect way.
How to Better Reduce the Risk of Patient Safety Issues
Medical teams both in the hospital setting and outpatient locations can reduce the risk of patient safety issues by completing a comprehensive safety training program highlighting these concerns. We carry hundreds of titles in this area that discusses how to move patients, proper hand hygiene, administering medication and even fire protection. To look through our entire library of health-related safety programs that’ll better protect your patients and yourself, visit us here.
“Errors, Injuries, Accidents, Infections”. https://www.hospitalsafetyscore.org/what-is-patient-safety/errors-injuries-accidents-infections
“10 facts on patient safety”. https://www.who.int/features/factfiles/patient_safety/en/
“Important Patient Safety Issues: What can you do?”. https://www.npsf.org/?page=safetyissuespatfam
“10 top safety issues for 2015”. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/10-top-patient-safety-issues-for-2015.html