Patient safety is the prevention of adverse effects and errors when it comes to the health care of patients. It is also about medical providers and facilities protecting their patients from mishaps while under their care. Unfortunately, mistakes can happen anywhere, including medical facilities so organizations like National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), United for Patient Safety, and Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) are dedicated to enhancing health care and promoting awareness for patient safety.
What is Safety Culture?
Safety culture is generally links to error rates in health organizations. Improving the culture of safety within health care organizations is a critical component for reducing or preventing errors as well as improving the overall quality of health care. There are specific measures that prove to improve safety culture, such a teamwork training, unit-based safety teams and executive walk rounds.
What is Patient Engagement?
Patient engagement is a term that describes a patient’s ability and willingness to manage their health and care with less formal intervention. It includes everything from patient portals to tracking vitals; patient engagement allows patients to participate in their own health and well-being because it provides the patient with a better understanding of their illness. They can keep track of things they can do to improve their health and it generally encourages a better outcome for the patient, while lowering medical costs.
What Do I Need to Know as a Patient?
- Communicate with your health care team. If you see something or feel that something is wrong, discuss your concerns with your nurse and/or doctor. It is always best to ask questions this way you and your doctor has all the information about the situation.
- If you or a loved one are a victim of medical error, say something. Speak with an employee of the medical facility so that they can investigate the issue and address it as soon as possible. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with a member of your immediate health care team, contact the customer service or patient advocacy department.
- Educate and encourage your friends and family. Share your personal experiences, good and bad, with your community and urge them to do the same. This helps others know it’s okay and important to speak up to ensure quality health care and patient safety.