Every person has the right to safe healthcare!
In recognition of World Patient Safety Day, we interviewed our Patient Safety Lead, Priyanka Paul, here at HealthNet Homecare to discover the importance and quality of having safe healthcare and practices.
What is Patient Safety?
The maxim ‘first, do no harm’ is attributed to Hippocrates, and is the cardinal rule in healthcare.
We healthcare providers are called to improve patients’ health, not to make it worse by errors.
We are called to heal not harm. Yet in fact, medical errors and other adverse events in healthcare are major contributors to the global burden of disease and death. Around 1 in 10 patients are harmed in healthcare and more than 3 million deaths occur annually due to unsafe care.
Patient safety is a healthcare discipline that emerged with the evolving complexity of healthcare systems and the resulting rise of patient harm. It aims to prevent and reduce risks, errors, and harm that occur to patients during the provision of healthcare.
A cornerstone of the discipline is continuous improvement based on learning from errors and adverse events.
Patient safety is fundamental to delivering quality essential health services and HealthNet is committed to ensuring our patients experience the highest quality of healthcare.
Why is Patient Safety So Important?
Safe healthcare is a fundamental right of all patients, everywhere, every time.
And yet, patient harm due to unsafe care is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide, with millions of patients harmed every year.
Safety in healthcare is a global concern because of increasing numbers of people suffering avoidable harm or being put at risk of injury while receiving healthcare.
What does a Patient Safety Lead Do at HealthNet?
My tasks as a Patient Safety Lead are to lead the complaints and incident team, along with the pharmacovigilance team, to ensure all reporting is within regulatory and contractual obligations.
We aim to encourage the organisation to embrace an overall culture of safety, developing methods and strategy where unsafe acts can easily be reported and corrected without creating a blame culture.
What Challenges Do You Face?
A safety culture involves placing the patient at the centre of every task that we perform, it is learning from positives and negatives, and learning from all involved (colleagues, patients, their families, and healthcare professionals).
Learning without judgment and hesitation is key to reporting and correcting unsafe acts without promoting a blame culture.
Another important strategy for patient safety is being able to measure the deficiencies, solutions as well as results.
What Inspired You Into This Role?
I have personally experienced harm in healthcare.
At birth, I was delivered via caesarean section, and when the gynaecologists had made the incision, he inadvertently cut me as well. The cut was small, however it was on my face near my eye, for which I bear the reminder as a scar.
There are many other people and patients who have experienced harm in various ways in healthcare, and I aspire to be the voice to prevent the harm.
As pharmacists, we are trained that we are the custodians of medicines. But within the greater healthcare team, we are also warriors for patient safety.
Patient safety is an overarching principle that aims to prevent harm to a patient. A principle that I could, in this role, drive by; education and training, implementation of preventative actions, quality improvement, and innovation.
Why Do You Enjoy Working at HealthNet?
HealthNet has been built on a strong foundation of quality home care which has fostered a patient-centred approach.
This is supported by strong leadership, a wealth of knowledgeable resources, innovation, and sharing of best practices.
Patient safety is not just the avoidance of harm, it’s the active pursuit of the highest quality by every person in the team, and HealthNet represents this well.
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in the role of patient safety here at HealthNet. A special thanks to our Patient Safety Lead, Priyanka. If you have any questions regarding patient safety at HealthNet Homecare, please email firstname.lastname@example.org