Thanks to World Health Organisation this day is being celebrated internationally.
WHO has done this to bring into focus patient’s safety.
No one should be harmed in Healthcare and yet, everyday thousands of patients suffer avoidable harm while receiving care.
Healthcare system is a tight interlocked system. Many factors contribute in making of this system. Most medical errors are not due to improper care by doctors or nurses but because of system failure. It is wrong to blame only doctors or nurses. The problem is not bad people in healthcare, it is good people working in bad systems. The people working in healthcare are the most educated and dedicated people in any industry. However, the consequences of errors in medical practice are potentially serious for both doctors as well as patients alike.
Even patients have a role to play in prevention of errors.
What can the patients do?
- Participate actively in your healthcare decisions. Ask queries and raise concerns regarding all your health issues with the treating physician.
- Don’t hide any kind of past and present medical history from your physician. They should not only know about your illnesses and medicines you are on but also what kind of OTC drugs, dietary supplements and herbal medicines you are consuming.
- All allergies and any kind of adverse events you have faced in the past must be told to the doctor.
- After you receive the prescription letter from your doctor make sure that you are able to read it. Ask all information regarding your prescribed medicines- what are they for, how long do I take it, how and when am I supposed to take it, what are the likely side effects and what to do if they occur, any foods drinks or activities I should avoid while on this medicine, can I take this medicine with other Ayurvedic or homeopathic medicines which I am already taking ?
- When you buy medicine from pharmacy, cross check it with the pharmacist whether same drugs have been given or not. Understand all the dosages and timings of the drugs. Especially for paediatric patients, the dosage amount should be perfect. The measuring Cup with the syrup will have all the markings.
- When you are staying in hospital, see that hand hygiene is followed rigorously.
- Before going in for some surgery clearly discuss all medical issues with your doctor. Ask them clearly what will be done.
- Know about all your laboratory test results.
- When you are being discharged from hospital understand the treatment plan for home from your doctor, the medicines you will be taking, the special precautions for mobility and regular activities at home and the next date of review with the hospital.
- Make sure all healthcare professionals involved in your healthcare have important health information about you. Do not assume things.
- Always take a family member or friend with you while visiting a doctor. You might always need their help .
- Follow all the precautions, drug dosages, diet restrictions, activity restrictions as advised by the doctor.
- Avoid taking Over the counter medicines on your own without consulting a physician especially Antibiotics. They carry the danger of resistance. Never overdo the prescriptions.
- Never consult a Doctor on phone for your illness. It is not possible to prescribe treatment for you without your examination. If you have any queries regarding your illness and prescription don’t ask on phone. It’s not possible for any doctor to remember your diagnosis and your prescribed treatment.
- Whenever u experience any symptoms, consult a Doctor immediately. Don’t waste time on home remedies. It can be dangerous at times.
- When your patient is admitted in a hospital avoid entertaining visitors. It invites more infection which can extend the length of your patient’s hospital stay.
Speak up for the safety of your care! Speak up for patient safety!
A Patient has to be part of the treatment and Patient Safety is the starting point.
Let us all work together for our safety.
DR RUPALI PATIL JAIN
MBBS, DORL, LLB, PGDHHM, PGDMLS
ARIHANT HOSPITAL, WARUD
HITECH CRITICAL CARE AND RESEARCH CENTRE, AMRAWATI
Mob no: +918007681390