Hospital Safety Issues are Driving Digital Based Solutions to Improve Patient Safety

Patient Safety

Over the past few years, one of the most crucial topics of conversation that has arisen in the medical industry is that of hospital patient safety. This has led to the development of a wide range of technology-based solutions, all of which will go a long way towards ensuring that all patients are as well cared for and as safe as possible while spending time in hospitals and other healthcare facilities around the country.

Barcoded Wristbands

A few decades ago, doctors and nurses had to rely on being able to read the information that had been hand written on to patients’ wristbands to determine who each one was, which medications or types of treatments had been prescribed to them and whether or not they suffered from any food or medication related allergies. In cases where the information was unclear or incomplete, hospital employees would have had to waste valuable time searching through the patients’ folders to find the information that was needed. Barcoded wristbands are printed when patients are admitted to hospital, and these provide the necessary information after being scanned by a barcode-reading device.

Smartphone Apps

Although many apps are known to promote patient safety, a free one called ‘The Patient Safety Manual’ has been downloaded almost 13,000 times. It contains more than 50 clinical and safety guidelines, while also being able to help doctors keep track of a patient’s condition and calculate overall clinical scores, making it a great tool for doctors and nurses. Dr. Adrian Hopper, a consultant physician who helped design it, stated, “Medics often need to look up guidelines, but newly qualified doctors are not familiar with these, so they often have to refer back to books and manuals. With this app, the information is all there at their fingertips, ensuring medical safety and saving time.”

Hospital Employees and Patient Safety

Despite the facts that more and more hospitals are implementing the use of various forms of technology and digital solutions in a bid to improve the safety of patients in their care, all hospital employees play a crucial role when it comes to the implementation of patient safety as well. Hospital administrative committees need to ensure that there are sufficient amounts of employees to attend to the needs of all patients. It is also crucial to ensure that doctors and nurses do not work excessively long hours, as fatigue is one of the most common contributing factors that result in adverse events taking place in hospitals. It can result in the burnout of hospital employees as well.

It has become commonplace for hospital administration to impose punitive measures on employees who make errors. However, this results in them being too afraid to report them when they occur – which can result in patients having to spend more time in hospital than planned. Instead, it is recommended that a rewards system be put in place for employees who come up with more efficient ways to promote patient safety.

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