Interested to read on Reuters the WHO report on safety which again underlines the importance of good ward communications. PDF of the ‘Communication During Patient Hand-Overs’ summary here too.
The nine key points listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) include double-checking similar-sounding medication names, ensuring patients are correctly identified, and improving hand hygiene to avoid preventable infections.
“Health care errors affect one in every 10 patients around the world,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a statement. “Implementing these solutions is a way to improve patient safety.”
The WHO urged health workers to improve communication and assure medication accuracy during transitions in patient care, carefully control concentrated electrolyte solutions, avoid misconnections in catheters and other tubing, use injecting devices only once, and ensure the correct procedure is performed at the right place on the body.
Liam Donaldson, chair of the WHO’s World Alliance for Patient Safety and Chief Medical Officer for Britain, said the checklist should help reduce “the unacceptably high number of medical injuries around the world.”
At any one time, some 1.4 million people worldwide suffer from hospital-acquired infections, according to WHO figures. One in every 136 patients in the
“Wrong site procedures” on the body — including errors about the side, organ, implant or person to be operated upon — are infrequent but not rare, the agency said, citing communication breakdowns as the cause of many of these.
Unsafe medical injections, with reused and unsterilised equipment, are believed to occur most often in South Asia, the Middle East and the Western Pacific, a region including