This list of the top 10 tools for enhanced patient safety includes resources that are widely used by healthcare professionals and organizations to ensure that their patients receive quality care in a safe environment.
1. Healthcare Quality Measures
Healthcare quality measures are an important feature toward the support of patient safety as they provide a way of monitoring the healthcare system like a checkpoint to ensure that patients’ needs are being met. Measurement tools apply to insurance providers, medical professionals, and facilities. The results from collected data are then used to provide enhancements and improve healthcare standards.
2. Hospital Patient Satisfaction
Hospital patient satisfaction is measured in a variety of ways including surveys that can be completed by the patients themselves. Quality care based on high ratings help contribute toward the goal of overall increased patient safety. Most surveys are distributed to patients after they have been discharged via phone, mail, or online forms.
3. Patient Safety and Risk Management
Patient safety and risk management are undertaken with the goal of ensuring that healthcare providers and facilities meet strict industry standards to provide a safe, caring environment that delivers quality healthcare and associated medical services with minimal associated risks. The guidelines look at several areas including capabilities of staff and the settings in which services are provided.
4. Patient Satisfaction Survey
The patient satisfaction survey is an important tool that healthcare providers and facilities use toward providing the best possible quality care. The information that is collected from the surveys is used to evaluate the services received by patients. Areas that are reviewed may include ease of accessibility for an appointment and the overall patient experience during their doctor’s visit.
5. Quality Improvement Program in Healthcare
Federal government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provide healthcare organizations with detailed plans to help them develop and achieve effective programs to be able and deliver quality services to their patients. Areas include training of staff for more efficient and higher levels of quality care, which ultimately results in increased rankings for patient satisfaction.
6. National Patient Safety Goals
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has established guidelines for National Safety Goals. These include properly identifying patients using their name and date of birth. Additional goals include improved staff communication, proper management of medications, taking precautions to prevent infection, recognizing patient safety risks, and preventing errors during surgery.
7. Patient Safety Indicators
The federal government Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a division of the U.S. Institute of Health and Human Services, maintains a list of patient safety indicators. These include hospital-level indicators, area-level indicators, prevention quality indicators, pediatric quality indicators, and inpatient quality indicators. The indicators work by measuring risk and assessment factors toward the goal of enhancing overall inpatient care and levels of safety during treatment.
8. National Patient Safety Foundation
The National Patient Safety Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that strives to promote advancement of the importance of safety for both patients as well as the workforce of the healthcare sector. The organization provides a wide selection of informative resources and educational tools as well as online community forums.
9. National Patient Safety Agency
The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) is a UK based organization that is an extension of the Department of Health. The NPSA strives to promote enhanced safety for patients by reducing risks. The NPSA actively supports the health sector and national initiatives.
10. Electronic Health Records
Electronic health records (EHR) are digitally formatted records that maintain a patient’s medical history. EHRs are managed by the primarily healthcare providers and can enhance patient care and safety as they can be accessible during emergency room visits, which is beneficial in reducing the amount of time the patient has to wait to receive treatment.
Healthcare measurement tools are widely used by practitioners and facilities as a way to accurately assess and evaluate the level of care being provided to patients. The data that is collected from these tools can then be used to make improvements in the healthcare system toward the goal of enhancing overall patient safety and levels of satisfaction.
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