The healthcare industry’s shift toward a value-based care reimbursement model has prompted healthcare providers to turn their attention toward improving patient safety and preventing “never” events, such as wrong-site surgery, that should never happen in the field of medical treatment. The definition of never events has expanded to include things such as falls, missed care or hospital-acquired infections.
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The healthcare industry’s efforts are important: Research from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reveals between 700,000 and 1 million patients in the United States accidentally fall in a hospital every year, but one-third of those falls can be prevented. And earlier this year, Frost & Sullivan, a market research firm, released “Patient Safety in Healthcare, Forecast to 2022.” In its analysis, Frost & Sullivan predicts that adverse patient safety events in the United States and Western Europe will drive an estimated cost burden of $383.7 billion.
To make patient safety a top priority at your hospital and prevent never events from occurring, start with these three tips.
Improve communication. Communication and patient safety go together like peanut butter and jelly. In 2016, a study revealed that failures in communication were linked to nearly 2,000 deaths over the course of five years. However, researchers say that the impact of miscommunication on medical errors is most likely even greater than the report suggests, since researchers only analyzed malpractice cases. Improving communication among physicians, nurses and other clinicians must be a priority for hospitals seeking to improve patient outcomes.
Implement a rounding routine. Research suggests that a structured hourly rounding routine—sometimes call “purposeful rounding”—can drastically reduce the number of patient falls and reduce the risk of pressure ulcers. Nurse rounds are most effective when they include a greeting, explanation of the rounding process, completion of scheduled tasks like treatments or medications, and clear communication about the next time a nurse will come by to check on the patient.
Confirm delivery of care. Are patient requests and tasks being executed in a timely manner? If a caregiver is unable to respond to a patient request, is it being escalated to another available caregiver? Confirmation of care delivery is critical to ensure patient needs are being met and that no patient is forgotten.
Improving Patient Safety With Technology
A next-generation nurse call communications system may be just the tool your hospital needs to prioritize patient safety. Advanced nurse call communications systems can send hourly rounding reminders to clinicians, track delivery of care from the first moment the nurse call button is pushed to the time a nurse enters the patient room, and enhance and streamline communication among staff members.
The Amplion Alert Care Assurance Platform takes nurse call to a whole new level, combining it with messaging capabilities and tools to better manage alarms and enhance communication among nurses and clinicians. The Amplion platform also closes the loop on care, ensuring that patient needs are fulfilled. Additionally, Amplion Alert’s real-time reporting portal makes it easy to monitor clinical activity, improve rounding compliance, assess staffing workflows and measure alarm activity. With Amplion Alert’s Care Assurance Platform in place, hospitals are better equipped to improve patient safety and promote better outcomes.
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