Patient safety is the absence of preventable harm to a patient during the process of health care and the reduction of risk of unnecessary harm associated with health care to an acceptable minimum.
Nafeesa Ali Kotwala, Director, Elite Hospiconsult LLP, is experienced personnel with a demonstrated history of working in the health, wellness, and fitness industry.
Elite Hospiconsult LLP is helping mid-size missionary Hospitals to preserve the rich old heritage and culture by making them profitable.
Now the entire world is following the guidelines
Nafeesa explains, “Yes, I agree that patient safety is a global health priority. Actually, if you see the patient safety is not a one day or short time job, it takes a year for us to adopt proper method and we have to create a safety culture so that we can create awareness and now due to COVID, there are few aspects like using of masks while having cough which we were not taking into account earlier but now everyone is abiding by it as they want to protect ourselves and the others. And the second thing is hand wash technique. Normally, in our training, we create awareness in the hospital that each and every staff, including house housekeeping staff should know about the proper method of doing it. Now the entire world is following the guidelines. So this proves that patient safety is now the Global Health priority,” she says.
Separate budget for safety training for the staff
Nafeesa sheds light on the subject, “Being a healthcare service provider for the last four years, I am into the quality accreditation, my first contribution towards providing the safety and providing the safety training to staff for using the PPE kit and also wearing and removing in the correct method which again helps in preventing infection. Then, we are training the healthcare staff for pre and post prophylaxis, first we try to prevent the staff from getting exposed to any infection but in case if they do, then we educate them with the proper techniques so that they do not panic and they have a mental setup that what they have to do, if suppose they get an exposure due to a needle stick. Next, we make a safety policy. We insist in implementation of and adopt effective resources like we advise hospital management to keep some budget for patient safety, like procurement of proper wheelchair, stretcher with safety belts and side railings etc. We insist, management to place handle or bar in the toilets and the side of railings to avoid falls and another is use of fire alarm, fire safety devices so that in case of fire emergency, they should have the proper equipment to avoid further damage. Then we also insist on the hospital management to keep some budget for safety training for the staff. Because safety training is very important if they know what to do next that they can avoid major casualty and we appoint a safety officer also in hospitals where we have consultancy or quality consultancy,” she says.
Telemedicine is a boon
Nafeesa sheds light on the subject, “We are all aware that when telemedicine and teleconsultation were implemented almost a decade ago, it was under-utilized. Now after this epidemic, people have realized the importance of telemedicine/ teleconsultation. The good part of this is that we can minimize the unnecessary risk of getting infected where there is a low immunity especially the children and older adults. So it's a boon for us. And another is, it is very easily accessible, you don't have to travel and it's available at just a click of a button, you can see your consultant and there are normally many gadgets also where the consultant can monitor the BP, can take ECG also. So now that telemedicine and healthcare technologies are very advanced and what I feel is that there is a lot of scope in the implementation of artificial intelligence in healthcare. So, if suppose we have a software where we cannot track the patient we can follow up after the discharge from the hospital and we can provide them the right diet regime, medication instruction and so much more so that the recovery will be easier and after discharge also we can provide the proper consultation to the patient and that is also one of the parts of patient safety,” she says.
Implement patient safety in a proper way
Nafeesa shares her views on diagnostic error, infections, medical medication errors, readmissions, wrong-side surgeries, and communication to ensure proper patient safety, “As a NABH consultant normally wherever the hospital is providing this quality consultation we keep a record of the indicator. So diagnostic errors, HAI, medication errors re-admission, wrong surgery, all these are on the form of indicators and these indicators we capture either through the registration form or Excel sheet on a daily basis and keep a track of each and every patient on a daily basis. For wrong-site surgery, we implement a WHO form for each and every surgery patient and we monitor patients for 30 days be it normal surgery or for implant surgery. And we have a safety committee where these indicators are discussed and if suppose there is any error, so be sure to implement proper guidelines to minimize or eliminate the above risk. And for communication, we insist for a proper handoff in detail to the other shift people, entered in legible writing so that there is a nil chance of the error if we follow it religiously if we implement the patient safety protocol, so I think we can reduce the errors and we can implement patient safety in a proper way,” she says.
Edited By- Rabia Mistry Mulla