patient safety in healthcare

LASIK Surgery – Patient Safety and Risks

patient safety in healthcare

Learn more about the safety risks of lasix surgery.

The following guest post on patient safety in healthcare was submitted by Aaron Barriga.

LASIK is a widely adopted procedure to cure minor eye ailments like myopia and hypermetropia. It is a simple technique that makes the use of laser technology to correct the vision of a person. LASIK has been approved by the FDA and is considered safe. A person is treated using LASIK by creating a tiny flap on the surface of the eye and reshaping the exposed cornea gently with help of a laser beam. The procedure is highly accurate and controlled. With a remarkable success rate of 96%, LASIK helps patients achieve 20/20 vision. It is a minimally invasive procedure by which you can be cured of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Being the most popular form of corrective treatment, LASIK is widely available anywhere across the globe. Over 35 million treatments have been carried out so far.

Positive Results for Lasik Eye Surgery

Though results of undergoing LASIK are not the same for everyone, more than 95% of the people have achieved perfect vision through the treatment. It has been considered as one of the safest vision treatments. After undergoing the LASIK treatment, people have been able to get rid of their contact lenses and glasses permanently. They are able to do all types of daily life activities without experiencing any problems. This has largely improved the quality of their life. There are no precautions to be taken before the surgery and a person can return to routine work, a few days after the treatment.

Temporary Discomfort

Though the treatment is extremely safe and successful, there is some temporary discomfort caused by it. Also, after the LASIK surgery, you have to be very careful with your eyes in order to avoid any risks and complications. The first few days after the treatment are very crucial and if you take proper care of yourself in this time, you will be able to achieve perfect vision without any problem. Below are discomforts that you may encounter after the LASIK procedure. These are temporary problems and are usually cured as your eyes are completely healed:

a. Dry Eye: Reported in only 1.77% of the patients, dry eye is a problem that causes your eyes to dry abnormally. This usually happens as a result of medication and procedures involved in a LASIK surgery. It can be easily cured by eye drops that your doctor provides.

b. Infection: Only one in 10,000 patients experience serious infections following the LASIK treatment. Infections can be easily avoided by taking a few precautions like not letting dust or any foreign particle go inside your eye, wearing sunglasses, etc. If infection occurs, it is best to get in touch with your eye doctor immediately. Any delay can further increase the complications and damage your eyes.

c. Night Vision Problems: As the eyes heal following the surgery, they have high water content. This can cause glare from the light. The problem intensifies at night and, therefore, some people may suffer from light sensitivity which can cause night vision problems. Though chances of having 6-month stage are roughly 0.18%, it can be a great problem once it occurs.

d. LASIK flap complications: With advancements in technology, LASIK flap complications have considerably decreased. Even if the complications occur, there are procedures to minimize the effect and achieve better results.

e. Retreatment: LASIK is a highly successful treatment but still in some cases there may be a need to get retreatment. Every eye is different and heals in a different manner. Some eyes may not get cured in the first treatment and may require some intervention at a later stage to achieve the best results.

The Bottom Line

LASIK is a highly safe procedure for eye treatment. A patient can eliminate the need to depend on contact lenses and glasses after undergoing LASIK. Though LASIK has a high success rate and is extremely safe, it is always good to discuss the risks with your surgeon before you undergo it.

Author Bio:

LASIK Surgery - Patient Safety and RisksAaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs with a mission of informing readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care and eye health. He loves collecting coasters from the different bars and restaurants he visits during his travels.

patient safety in healthcare

How Medical Device Hacks Endanger Patient Safety

Arxan’s infographic on healthcare IoT shows wearables, implantable medical technologies, and hospital equipment as three types of devices with their own specific vulnerabilities, including patient data theft. As the company points out on their page for protecting healthcare IoT applications, the FDA found that 400,000 hospitals used infusion pumps deemed to be remotely-hackable last year, merging cybersecurity risks with patient safety hazards. Blocking unauthorized access to hospital networks starts with guarding information, but it goes beyond protecting patients’ records. This includes preventing cryptographic key exposure in the embedded apps of the medical devices that contain extremely sensitive patient information, like how much insulin a diabetic patient needs per hour. Remote hacking and ransomware incidents, and even discoveries of vulnerable devices, stress the need for protecting hospital network data at all levels, including the binary logic of software that could be manipulated if a network’s security is compromised.

patient safety in healthcare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arxan is a company that focuses on application attack-prevention and protection products for Internet of Things and other technologies, including mobile and desktop platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

how to maintain patient safety in healthcare

Patient Safety in Healthcare

how to maintain patient safety in healthcare

Maintaining patient safety in healthcare is important. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

The following post on patient safety in healthcare was submitted by Dennis Kaminski.

Every healthcare organization carries along with it the important obligation to ensure patient safety and the safety of staff and visitors. Life itself presents possible danger at every turn, as most of us know well, and becoming involved in any sort of treatment program or enrollment in any healthcare institution, therefore, involves incurring certain inherent dangers as well.

It has been widely bruited in the past that healthcare environments can be even more dangerous than life in the streets. This is because hospitals are, by their very nature, filled with sick patients. These patients may have diseases or injuries that could present a danger to others, particularly susceptible due to the nature of their own physical condition. Hospital-borne infections can and do cause deaths every year.

It is, therefore, vital that every organization allows plenty of time, and invests a good deal of efforts. This will assure that its particular operation takes into consideration every possible provision as a way of assuring the safety of its patients.

A major concern for an institution too, is the looming danger of lawsuits, lawsuits that, if serious enough, can force even a well-insured company into bankruptcy and closure. Of even graver importance, however, is the dark possibility of a person becoming gravely ill or injured during the company’s watch, a tragic event that has, in the past, led to death.

Health care groups and policies across our nation, fall mostly under the influence of social as well as economic conditions and, of course, the health guidelines and policies already in place regarding patient safety. Every nation, every jurisdiction, has its own set of policies regarding healthcare safety. These have been, over time, developed to meet the needs and goals of a target population.

Healthcare Safety and patient safety are something of blanket terms for a number of different populations and situations. This term includes care by health professionals, of course. Health care professionals alone carries a good many sub-categories that might be included: chiropractic, medical physicians, physician associates (nurses, attendants, technicians, and even janitorial workers). Dentistry, midwifery, optometry primary, secondary and tertiary care, medicine, midwifery and any other aid or treatment offered to a person who is suffering from one malady or another. All of these fall under the heading of patient care and/or healthcare safety.

The vast majority of patients being treated in healthcare facilities, receive proper and safe treatment. Yet as technology and the understanding of the human physique and mental capacities grows, the greater becomes the necessity to attune these complexities to the assurance of the safety of those who seek help. People make mistakes, errors in judgment and, being human, everyone in the healthcare industry walks about beneath the burden of knowing that at any step along the way, a mistake may be made. This can of course, be minor, but it can just as easily be a significant and far-reaching mistake that could, ultimately, be life-threatening.

Organizations, such as the National Patient Safety Agency has been set in place for one reason alone: To educate healthcare professionals in every possible way to incorporate every possible safety measure into the workplace, be the facility a small dental office or a large and active primary care facility that goes twenty-four hours a day.

One of the first and most important steps recommended is that the director of every operation create and organize a culture of safety around the center of activity.

The first and vital step the director should consider is to take the initiative, take the lead. The director should assemble the staff, explain exactly what measures must be followed and perhaps hand out papers. Directing staff is a first and important step in creating in the minds of employees and associates the importance and gravity of healthcare measures, as well as management’s determination to enforce proper health care measures in every aspect of the operation.

That would include not only sanitary procedures, but even frequently overlooked dangers, such as cables or débris lying on floors, obstacles that might easily trip up a hurrying attendant or patient. Wet floors or any slippery substance on floors present an extremely dangerous threat to a person who can take an unexpected life-threatening fall.

By combining attentive and concerned management with other factors, staff remains constantly aware of the safety measures that are necessary to maintaining a good clean operation without unexpected and unwelcome incidents.

Where there may be any possible doubt as to the effectiveness of a given facility, it is possible to bring in professional teams that analyze the facility, gather staff together and discuss aspects that may need improvement, share safety lessons so that management as well staff can implement better solutions to prevent future possible accidents or even tragedies.

It is also important not only to involve staff in these measures, but patients and the general public as well, should be kept informed as much as possible, of the progress, possibilities and threats that may lurk in even the most innocent-appearing environment.

Dennis Kaminski is the owner of SafetyMart. SafetyMart helps customers ranging from private businesses to government/municipal agencies, both large and small to address their safety needs and requirements.

patent safety in healthcare

8 Ways to Improve Hospital Patient Safety

patent safety in healthcare

Protect patient safety in healthcare by following these 8 simple steps.

The following gust post on patient safety in healthcare was submitted by Gracy Liura.

There are very few experiences in life that cause more anxiety than having to be admitted into the hospital.

Take Legal Measures Ahead of Time

Coming up with a plan of constraints, requests, and procedures ahead of time can challenging and might even seem impossible. Knowing what to prepare for and who is going to be in charge, should you become incapacitated, appears to be an overwhelming task with so many emotions that can impede logic. At the same time, almost all aspects of life require a certain amount of planning, especially in relation to medical care and hospitalization. At this point, you (and your spouse or chosen “next of kin”) should pay a visit to the local hospital and request copies of the paperwork that need filling out upon admittance. Every hospital in every region is going to differ, but some of these forms usually include the following:

The Wishes—place a number before the word “wishes,” and then, this document might sound familiar. This form covers a broad range of issues or topics related to a stay in the hospital, including which difficult decisions will need to be made and by who. You might pick up a copy at your local hospital or healthcare facility to take with you for legal consultation. In other words you (and your spouse, if applicable) can discuss and fill out the paperwork and talk with a lawyer who can offer valuable advice about upholding your requests. More than likely, the document might have to be notarized.

List of Visitors (including clergy or ministers)—usually, in the stack of forms, there is a section, if not one page, where you make a list of visitors who would be allowed in the room for just a short time and who you would wish to stay for a longer period beyond visiting hours, if allowed by the hospital. This also includes any pastors, clergy, and/or laypersons should you wish to have some spiritual support for yourself and your family.

“Next of Kin”—this list is similar to the one that is previously mentioned, but applies more to an extreme emergency situation when a family member needs to get to the hospital quickly and possibly notify anyone else. Again, if this list and the list of visitors is established ahead of time, then there might be less chaos for you and whoever is in charge of notifications, which means less chance for a family conflict to erupt that distracts the staff away from quality patient care (not to mention disturbs the other patients).

Power of Attorney and/or Guardianship—you will most definitely need to seek legal counsel when establishing who will have power of attorney or assume guardianship if you reach the point of losing all capacity to make important decisions. Normally, spouses would act on each other’s behalf, or one of the older (or most responsible) of the adult children would be designated for this role. For single, young adults, often a parent is asked to take on this job in the event of a severe medical episode. Either way, you should ideally talk with the person who you would like to fulfill those duties before speaking with an attorney and going through all the legal procedures to make sure that he or she is in agreement with you. After all, this is the person who will be in charge of some of the most difficult decisions concerning your care.

List of “tasks” for immediate and extended family members—this document, if you wished to create such a document, probably has no legal bearing, but it would help to not just ask for help from loved ones but to specify what exactly you need—for example, someone to ask questions, someone to take your belongings home, someone to look after children during your stay, etc. Having an informal family meeting for the sake of discussing the “what if” scenarios and how to address them can help dispel some of the fear that goes along with being hospitalized.

Ask a Relative or Friend to Stay

No, you are not being a “coward” if you ask your spouse, significant other, parent, or even your best friend to stay with you for a night or two after your procedure. After all, you are still “coming out of” anesthesia while taking pain medication and would definitely need the immediate help to get out of bed if necessary.

Invoke the Help of Family and Friends as Witnesses

When you are ill or injured, the brain is frantically processing all sorts of stimuli—from the physical symptoms to the emotional impact. Thus, you might consider asking family and friends to “rotate in shifts” to stay with you and observe the care that the staff is giving and to be able to take notes and pose questions when the doctor checks on you. Also, you will need to consider that possibly only one to two visitors at a time would be allowed.

Meet with the Hospital’s P.R. Rep

If you are having a procedure scheduled ahead of time, then visiting with a public relations representative could result in gaining some valuable information about the hospital’s policies on visitors, shift changes (remember you will be dealing with multiple care givers) and other pertinent topics as well as to ask some questions of your own.

Protect Personal Belongings

In the event that you have to go to the Emergency Room, the person who takes you there should collect your personal items, like wallet, keys, and cell phone right away. If you are going to the hospital for a pre-scheduled surgery, then ideally, you will have already made arrangements with the family member or friend who accompanies you when you register. This is extremely important because most hospitals post their policy that they are not responsible for stolen or missing items.

Try to Stay Observant

When you are on medication or just not feeling well at all, keeping watch over your surroundings can be difficult. Nonetheless, during the waking hours, some vigilance would be beneficial. This is not to encourage paranoia, which would impede your healing and recovery, but just simply being coherent and maintaining communication with nurses and doctors can make a difference in the safety factor.

Become Ambulatory as Quickly as Possible

Getting on your feet is not just a matter of safety, but also an important factor in the recovery process. (Again, you should abide by orders from your doctor.) With help from a nurse, physical therapy assistant, or whoever is staying with you, you can periodically stand up and perhaps even walk around for a few minutes at a time. This will not only prevent fluid from settling in your lungs, it will also help you to get a look at your surroundings, specifically exits as well as to familiarize yourself with care givers and security staff.

Maintain an Updated List of Medications and Dietary Restrictions

It is important to adopt the practice of keeping a list of your prescriptions and supplements, any restrictions and allergies in your wallet for a number of reasons. Granted, if you are going into the hospital for a surgery that has been in the planning for a while, then you would have already provided that information upon pre-registering, but in the event of an unexpected illness, then having that information handy can mean the difference between life and death. A copy of this information should also be given to your designated helper (or spouse) in the event that you are not able to advocate for yourself.

Gracy is a dedicated and qualified nutritionist with over six years of experience in the Indian food industry, currently blogging at hCGdropsratings.com. On this website, she gives honest and detailed reviews on the world’s best HCG diet drops based on Google trends and Amazon, Ebay ratings. Gracy has earned a MSc degree in Human Nutrition at Chinmaya degree College (BHEL) in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. You can contact her any time you’d want if you’ve got any questions regarding her guest posts.

patient safety in healthcare

4 Ways to Utilize Technology to Protect Your Patients

patient safety in healthcare

Learn more about how to better protect patient safety through healthcare technology. (Photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

The following guest post on how to protect patient safety in healthcare was submitted by Kara Masterson.

Healthcare technology has continued its rapid change over the last few decades. This impacts every level of healthcare. Physicians and office staff must work to integrate the appropriate improvements into every day practice, while continuing to provide excellent patient care. Hospitals must increase the effectiveness and efficiency of staff and offices while treating patients with acute and chronic conditions. Evaluating and utilizing applicable technology in each setting assist in protecting patients in the organization.

In the Laboratory

Hospital laboratories are filled with opportunities for errors. For the most part, microscopes and slides have been replaced with sophisticated diagnostic machines that are able to conduct several individual tests from the same sample at the same time. Unfortunately, the danger of misidentification of specimens remains. Utilizing the most up to date equipment possible and having a reliable identification and reporting system go a long way in having confidence in the accuracy of test results. A study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) suggests using bar codes on containers to “link specimens to identifying electronic information.”

Patient Engagement in Care

A relatively new area of health care technology can be found in interactive patient engagement systems. Generally used with in patient care or for patients with chronic diseases, the systems connect health care staff with patients through a cloud based service. With a patient-centered approach to health care, these systems are designed to keep patients and their families engaged and participating in their care leading to a positive outcome for the patient. The systems provide information, education and entertainment options for in patients. The systems can be monitored by nurses and staff and are designed to promote communication and interaction between the patient, family and hospital doctors and nurses.

Time-Sensitive Collaboration

The NIH reports that one of the greatest barriers to effective health care is effective communication between health care professionals. In order to improve this and get the best care possible for patients, doctors and software companies are teaming up to develop communication tools that allow such varied business operations as specialist collaboration, remote access and staff training. The cloud-based service uses the lessons learned from social media to improve health care for patients. Through video conferencing, patients can be evaluated and diagnosed by a remote specialist. A hospital system with multiple offices can bring staff together to learn more about the most recent health regulations. The software involved can be utilized on a variety of device types with nearly unlimited access points.

Remote Tracking Tools

More and more, doctors are utilizing remote tracking tools to assist in patient care. Caring for patients with multiple, chronic conditions continue to be one of the greatest concerns in health care. With remote tracking, patients with diabetes and kidney disease can be closely monitored in the home. Elderly patients also benefit from this technology through mobility monitoring and check in services. Other benefits of these tracking tools can be found in diagnostics where laboratories can “observe” patient statistics over a period of time to better understand reported symptoms. Patients are able to be at home, improving quality of life and reducing health care costs.

Technology that has a direct impact on diagnosis and treatment are constantly improving. The offices and companies that understand and embrace the innovations that work for their situations will improve patient care by being more accurate and efficient. Each tool comes with a price tag, so it will be incumbent on organization administrators to determine which will work best for the clientele the organization serves.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

healthcare worker safety is important

6 Most Common Injuries To Healthcare Workers

healthcare worker safety is important

Patient safety is a hot topic in healthcare, but what about healthcare worker safety?

Patient safety is a main theme of our blog, but what about healthcare worker safety? Enjoy this guest post from Patient Handling addressing common safety risks to healthcare workers.

Healthcare workers rank at the top of the list of professionals with the most challenging and risky jobs. Despite the fact that research studies and statistics have proved that hospitals are one of the most unsafe and dangerous places to work, healthcare professionals continue to serve humanity regardless of the wide range of threats to their health.

According to International Labour Organization’s database of 1994, almost 51% of nurses and midwives in Australia are at the risk of developing various diseases dur to exposure to contaminated sharps. While the situation has definitely improved since then, the rate is still almost double to that of the whole private industry, including the manufacturing and construction industries. These facts are startling.

Who Is Considered A Healthcare Worker?

Everyone who works within the healthcare industry; in a hospital, clinic, nursing facility, or any other health centre, for protecting and improving the health of the masses in any way, qualifies as a healthcare worker. Doctors, nurses, and paramedics all come under this category.

Most Common Injuries to Healthcare Workers
Healthcare professionals work in a variety of settings and in the most difficult and challenging situations that expose them to unique dangers and risks almost all the time. Since the healthcare industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in Australia (more than 610,148 people were working as registered health practitioners, at one position or the other, in 2014), large numbers of people are continuously at risk.

The following types of injuries are most prevalent among healthcare workers:

Musculoskeletal Injuries

The kind of work healthcare professionals are involved in is not only mentally challenging, but is also physically demanding. According to research studies, healthcare workers face 7 times higher risks for developing Musculoskeletal Injuries (MSDs) than workers working in other industries. Among all healthcare professionals, paramedics and nurses face the highest risk because they are involved in handling patients during rescues and transfers. Sprains and strains in different parts of the body are common issues healthcare workers suffer from as well.

Fractures

Since healthcare professionals are almost always on the move, they are more prone to slips and falls which could cause fractures. Also, fractures could occur due to attacks by violent patients.

Back Injuries

The nature of work healthcare professionals do everyday involves a lot bending, twisting, quick movements, and heavy lifting, which can cause back injuries, such as back pain and slip discs.
Rescuing and transferring patients from one place to another, or from one position to another, requires non-neutral postures, rotations, and flexions that put a lot of stress on back muscles and spinal cord.

Cuts and Incisions

People working in the healthcare industry work with sharp instruments, such as needles and surgical instruments, on a regular basis. Even the slightest mishandling or distraction could lead to cuts and incisions.

Burns

Paramedics are usually at the risk of burns because they are responsible for rescuing patients in emergency situations, which also includes dealing with fire.

Infections and Blood Borne Diseases

Airborne micro-organisms and exposure to bodily waste and mucous is common in healthcare facilities. Also, healthcare workers can catch various blood borne infections and diseases if they have cuts and wounds. This puts them at the risk of developing as serious a disease as Hepatitis or HIV.

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2661/
http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20150307/MAGAZINE/303079965

This article is provided by the creative team behind Patient Handling.