Patient For Patient Safety Initiative In India - Eastern Mirror
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Patient for Patient Safety Initiative in India

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By EMN Updated: Feb 13, 2024 11:44 pm

The issue of patient safety is a major concern in the healthcare system worldwide. Despite the fact that medical techniques and technologies have significantly advanced, the evolution of patient safety practices even today has been beset by challenges such as medication errors, surgical complications, and infections. The history of patient safety has been shaped by several prominent events. One such event was the release of the “To Err is Human” report by the Institute of Medicine in 1999, which brought widespread attention to the issue of medical errors in the United States.

Medical errors and harm commonly arises from communication breakdowns and a lack of coordination among healthcare team members. It is, therefore, crucial to recognise the importance of patient engagement in ensuring their own safety by being involved in their care, which can play a substantial role in reducing avoidable harm, and enhance quality of life. (Vahdat S, Hamzehgardeshi L, Hessam S, Hamzehgardeshi Z. Patient involvement in health care decision making: a review. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2014 Jan;16(1):e12454. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.12454. Epub 2014 Jan 5. PMID: 24719703; PMCID: PMC3964421).

In India, “Patient For Patient Safety Initiative (P4PSI)”, was founded in September 2020 under the aegis of Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organizations (CAHO) and QAI. It is a Non-Profit organisation with collaborative effort of individuals from civil society, wide network of experts, health care providers, quality and safety organisations engaged in patient safety and quality medical care, spreading awareness about best medical practices among general public as part of its mission. Any patient or healthcare provider can subscribe to P4PSI newsletter to get updates on the latest patient safety initiatives through their website (www.patientsforpatientsafety.in).

To provide an update on P4PSI’s initiatives, I would like to share a key highlight from their newsletter: “How Patients can prevent errors in Diagnosis”.

“One of the top causes of medical harm is wrong or missed diagnosis which means wrong treatment or medication. In spite of best efforts errors happen for various reasons such as time pressure, incomplete/ incorrect information or lack of diagnostic tests and error in judgment.

By keeping yourself informed and engaged in this critical phase, you can help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis and ultimately prevent errors.

Here is what you can do:

1.            Provide complete and accurate medical history including past and current medical conditions, medications, allergies, and family history. Make a summary of your illness and treatment for the physicians to consider.

2.            Maintain clear, complete and honest communication with the doctor. Do not hide anything. Share details of earlier self-diagnosis and self-treatment if any, changes in condition, including duration, intensity and any triggering or relieving factors.

3.            Undergo tests/ investigations prescribed: Investigations and tests provide additional data for the doctor to make a decision. Get them done immediately. Seek clarification if in doubt.

4.            Ask questions about your diagnosis, treatment options, prescribed course of action, time for treatment and finances required. Find out what to expect as a result of your treatment along with any risks and side effects.

5.            Seek a second opinion if you are unsure about a diagnosis, particularly in case of a serious illness or treatment plan like surgery. A second opinion can help to generate an alternative treatment plan or confirm and reassure that the existing plan is the most optimum.

6.            Avoid self-detection and self-treatment with internet searches or word-of-mouth suggestions as this will not be a comprehensive assessment. It can further deteriorate your health and delay proper treatment.

7.            Be aware of non-qualified doctors: They commit to quick and guaranteed solutions and sometimes give harmful substances that temporarily subside the symptoms (by giving strong steroids in large quantities in some cases) which cause harm in the long run.

Correct diagnosis is most critical in determining the right treatment, play an active role and reassure yourself.”

As a patient or caregiver, engage with your healthcare provider to reduce avoidable harm by taking the initiative to learn about your rights and responsibilities to promote patient safety.

Pelezoto Pius Kikhi

Quality Manager, CIHSR

CAHO Governing Member – State Chairman.

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By EMN Updated: Feb 13, 2024 11:44:39 pm
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