Medical Monday Patient Safety
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -It’s estimated that about 400,000 patients per year in the United States die due to medical error or preventable harm events, this according to the Journal of Patient Safety. Hospitals are putting an emphasis on patient safety, especially in March, as they acknowledge Patient Safety Week. Patient safety is an important part of health care. At Northern Light AR Gould, Jessica St. Peter, the Director of Quality, says the entire staff is responsible for making sure patients are safe while in the hospitals care. “You might think that it’s people who are directly touching patients, but there’s safety elements even with our housekeeping staff for example. They play a huge role in the reduction of risk of infection with the cleaning practices that they have. They’re really subject matter experts of their field in how to appropriately take care of our facilities and clean patient care areas to that we are reducing those risks.”, according to St. Peter.
In addition to cleaning practices, there are several other ways the staff consider patient safety. St. Peter says, “It really boils down to risks that a patient could be harmed. So, people think of things such as falls or maybe pressure injuries, infections and there’s various types of infections that can happen. Maybe surgical complications. So, overall, any item that could cause patient harm.”
St. Peter adds, while the hospital staff is always looking for ways to improve their safety practices, they value input from not only patients, but also their family members and caregivers as well. “They have an understanding of that persons individual condition for things that have worked for them in the past so when we are working with specific care plans with our patients say we’re looking at a skin issue, we might say to that patient, whats the ability for you to be able to move in the bed and reposition yourself. So, various things in that arena help us to bring the patient and their family into the discussion.” she says.
St.Peter says if you have safety concerns you are encouraged to reach out to your healthcare providers or the managers of the department. But if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can also reach out to the patient experience specialist or patient advocate.
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