What common problem is risking our patients’ safety?
Patient safety is most likely at the core of your everyday work – but is it always at the core of your processes?
This Patient Safety Awareness Week is an excellent opportunity for your organisation to look at the gaps in your procedures. A common area where things fall down is communication.
With increased specialist knowledge and expertise in the healthcare industry, communications between teams and settings can be challenging. If you are a patient dealing with multiple specialists, you are relying on a thorough and smooth flow of communication between your carers – if this does not happen, patient safety is easily compromised.
Another crucial step that can be missed is incident reporting. If you see something you question, it is important to say something – and that your organisation has an open culture of responding to these reports. Incident reporting should be seen as an opportunity to learn lessons, provide more training and at a broader level, identify trends.
At a policy level, the National Safety & Quality HealthCare Standards and the Australian Commission on Safety & Quality Health Care are a great step towards a coordinated response to patient safety. This is evidenced with the comprehensive clinical care standards with a focus on understanding unwarranted variation in health outcomes. This will challenge many clinicians on identifying the best clinical practice that needs to be provided.
But change starts locally, and this week – consider if you encourage a culture of safety. Start with collaboration and breaking down silos, so you can guarantee your patients a joint approach to their health and ultimately – their safety.
Be part of the journey – join AAQHC your national voice for safety and quality.
We also encourage you to take part in the Patient Safety Awareness Week activities organised by the Clinical Excellence Commission.