Patient Safety in Hospitals - An Overview
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Primum non nocere is generally understood to be the cornerstone of the practice of medicine, but at times it is lost sight of, especially in hospitals that do not encourage a culture of patient safety. This term was ﬁrst highlighted in the Institute of Medicine study entitled "To err is human: Building a safer health system" at the turn of the century. While this report estimated medical errors in USA to be the cause of 44,000-98,000 deaths annually; WHO later established that in developing countries as many as 1 in 10 patient are harmed while receiving medical care. In the last decade, patient safety has become one of the most important facets of health care delivery systems and has been accepted by almost all regulatory and oversight bodies like JCAHO, JCl, ACHS, WAPS,CDC, AHRQ, NABH etc. Recently, the role of patients/attendants in patient safety has also been studied, yielding satisfactory results. The presentation will provide an over-view of this topic, by drawing analogy with the aviation industry, and will highlight the four main areas declared by WHO.These include proper identiﬁcation of and communication with patients; medication administration and errors; surgical safety; and Hospital Associated Infection (HAI) prevention and control practices. Some case based scenarios will also be discussed for better insight into these issues, along with possible solutions in Indian hospitals.