Due to pandemic crises, how can we reduce risk by using advanced patient safety features? Nowadays, this is a big question for every healthcare organization.
The Electronic Health Record (EHR) system was designed to help doctors improve their workflow. Filling up clinical notes, reviewing x-ray records, and ordering lab testing are just a few examples.
The HTECH Act, signed by President Barack Obama in 2009, made electronic health records (EHR) systems obligatory. On the other hand, physicians play a critical role in the safe delivery of healthcare services.
They need to manage workflows while balancing patient care properly.
What is Patient Safety?
Patient safety is a healthcare discipline that arises in response to the growing complexity of healthcare systems and the rise in patient injury in hospitals. Its goal is to prevent and minimize risks, errors, and harm to patients while providing healthcare.
A cornerstone of the discipline is continuous progress based on learning from mistakes and negative experiences. Patient safety is necessary for providing high-quality vital health services.
Indeed, there is widespread agreement that high-quality health care should be effective, safe, and oriented to the needs of people all over the world. To obtain the benefits of high-quality treatment and health services must also be timely, equitable, integrated, and efficient.
Why does patient harm occur?
A well-designed healthcare system considers the increasing complexity of healthcare surroundings, which renders people more vulnerable to mistakes. For example, a patient at a hospital may receive the incorrect drug due to a mix-up caused by identical packaging.
In this situation, the prescription moves through several levels of care, beginning with the ward doctor, then through the pharmacy for dispensing, and ultimately to the nurse, who gives the patient the incorrect drug.
This problem might have been swiftly discovered and remedied if there had been safeguarding protocols. However, in this case, a lack of standard protocols for storing drugs that appear comparable and poor communication between clinicians.
A lack of verification before medication administration and a lack of patient engagement in their treatment might all be contributing causes to the mistakes.
How is patient safety an important aspect of universal health coverage?
Patients’ safety while receiving safe and high-quality health services is necessary for improving healthcare systems and progressing toward effective universal health coverage (UHC) as outlined in Sustainable Development Goal.
The Sustainable Development Goals aim to attain UHC, including financial risk protection, access to excellent essential healthcare services, and safe, effective, high-quality, and affordable necessary medications and vaccinations.
WHO emphasizes the notion of effective coverage in accomplishing the goal, viewing UHC as a means of improving health and ensuring that high-quality services are given to patients securely?
It’s also important to stress the importance of patient safety in reducing costs connected with patient harm and improving healthcare system efficiency. Safe services will also help reassure and restore public trust in local healthcare systems.
How can we reduce risk by using advanced patient safety features?
Patient safety has been a watchword for several projects over the last decade. Still, much of the attention has been on hospital care, where medication mistakes, wrong-site surgery, and other episodes of patient damage are common.
However, people with cancer, maybe more than others, get most of their health treatment in ambulatory care settings.
Let’s look at some of the patient safety measures that EHR systems have built to help physicians provide high-quality treatment.
A user-friendly interface:
The interface should be designed to assist physicians in managing their daily processes and retrieving patient data quickly. It should not be confused with the number of capabilities offered.
Instead, the focus should be on clarifying the software’s functionality. As a result, physicians may streamline their workflow. It also enhances productivity by interacting with a system they can readily comprehend and interact with it.
Differentiation of notifications:
The EHR system you now have or are considering acquiring should provide alerts. Alert alerts serve as your right hand, assisting you in tailoring your therapy to your specific needs.
Variation in the severity of the warnings allows physicians to identify the dose and allergies, preventing situations when the patient’s safety is jeopardized.
Some people may not be allergic to certain medicine, while others may be. Therefore, physicians must be aware of any allergies that a patient could have. This procedure would enable them to monitor patients’ health efficiently and provide sound advice.
The distinction between recent and older lab reports:
Physicians are frequently required to discern between recent and older lab data, and they typically spend a significant amount of time doing so. Because of the intensive nature of the exercise, making a mistake increases dramatically.
As a result, the physician’s software should be clever enough to assist them in distinguishing between older and newer records. Normally, while copying and pasting patient data into clinical notes, the risks of mistakes grow dramatically owing to the repeating of comparable data.
As a result, physicians use this behavior to save time, but the documentation quality suffers. Therefore, when making clinical notes, exercise caution.
Software should feature the ability to display text; abbreviations should be used with caution so as not to confuse. For eligibility, the numerical quantities given should also include commas.
Patients’ names should be provided in unambiguous abbreviations so that doctors may quickly recognize them without wasting time looking for the proper person.
Patient portal integration:
Patients may use the patient portal to make appointments, communicate with their doctors without limitation, etc. In addition, they may view their progress online without any restrictions. It can access reports and other patient data online.
However, if this functionality is penetrated, it might cause significant harm to the practice and its patients.
Since the data exposed would be valuable and could result in sanctions being filed against the physician/physicians in charge, this facility must be securely integrated into EHR systems.
Transfer of patient care:
Another area where there is a higher risk of mistake is when you hand over patient care to a hospitalist. According to a survey of 2,644 individuals discharged from hospitalist care, 41% had their test results returned after they were discharged.
9.4 percent of the data were possibly actionable. Although this study was not confined to patients, it does highlight the communication difficulties that hospitalized patients face.
Talk directly to a hospitalist or partner managing your patient’s in-hospital care, both when care is passed to the other physician and when the patient is released. Do not use the nurse, the medical record, or any other written notes to communicate.
Develop safe communication skills while coordinating treatment with other clinicians and handing over patients. Be mindful of the dangers of errors in hospitalized patients and take steps to mitigate them.
In-office practice, fostering a patient safety culture that encourages a collaborative approach to treatment and allows everyone to feel comfortable acknowledging an error or near-miss is critical to lowering risks.
Establish communication checklists and guidelines for caregivers and office systems regularly. intelyConnect will help you to integrate your healthcare application with advanced technology. intelyConnect offers a no-code and low-code approach to healthcare data integration and interoperability.