Ensuring Patient Safety through Effective Identity Management and Incident Response

Ensuring Patient Safety through Effective Identity Management and Incident Response

Patient safety is a critical component of healthcare that involves protecting patients from harm caused by medical errors or adverse events. Patient safety is an essential element of healthcare as it helps to ensure that patients receive the highest quality of care possible. The consequences of patient safety incidents can be devastating, leading to patient harm, injury, and even death.

Ensuring Patient Safety through Effective Identity Management and Incident Response

This article will focus on the importance of identity management in patient safety. The process of patient identity management is essential in healthcare, as it enables healthcare providers to accurately identify and confirm their patients’ identities, which is crucial for providing safe and effective care. By ensuring that patients are correctly identified, healthcare providers can deliver safe and effective care that meets the patient’s needs.

Patient Identity Management

Patient identity management is the process of ensuring that healthcare providers correctly identify and confirm the identity of their patients. This process is essential to patient safety and patient care, as it helps to prevent medical errors that can result from misidentification or incorrect patient information. The importance of accurately managing patient identity cannot be overstressed.

Accurately identifying patients is critical to ensure that they receive the right care, treatment, and medication. When patients are misidentified, the risk of medical errors and adverse events increases, which can have serious consequences for patient safety and the quality of care they receive.

Examples of patient identity management include:

  • Incorporating biometric patient identification solutions, such as iris or facial recognition, which can increase accuracy and efficiency of patient identification
  • Integration with patient portals or mobile applications that allow patients to verify their own identity and access their health information
  • Automatic alerts for potential identity mismatches or duplicates in the EHR system to prevent errors and ensure accurate patient identification
  • Establishing policies and procedures for safeguarding patient information, such as encrypting data and limiting access to authorized personnel
  • Educating staff and patients about the risks of medical identity theft and how to prevent it, such as being cautious when sharing personal information online or with unauthorized individuals

By implementing patient identity management processes and technologies, healthcare providers can improve patient safety and ensure that patients receive the right care at the right time.

Patient Safety Risks and Factors Affecting Patient Safety

Identifying patient safety risks is essential to prevent harm and ensure patient safety. By recognizing and addressing potential risks, healthcare providers can reduce the likelihood of medical errors and adverse events.

Several factors can affect patient safety, including:

  • Problems arising from a lack of effective communication between healthcare providers and patients
  • Inadequate staff training and education
  • Medication errors
  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
  • Infections acquired while receiving care from a hospital or healthcare facility
  • Incidents of patient falls and other associated injuries
  • Equipment failures or malfunctions

Patient safety indicators (PSIs) are measures that can help healthcare providers identify potential safety risks and improve patient safety. Examples of PSIs include hospital-acquired infections, surgical complications, and patient falls. The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 was enacted to motivate healthcare providers to report and analyze patient safety events and implement strategies to prevent future occurrences.

By understanding the factors that can affect patient safety and implementing PSIs, healthcare providers can take proactive steps to prevent harm and improve patient safety.

Four Main Roles in Patient Safety

Patient safety is a shared responsibility that involves a range of stakeholders in healthcare. There are four main roles that contribute to patient safety:

  1. Patients and families: Patients and families play a vital role in ensuring their own safety. They can ask questions, provide accurate and complete information, and participate in their care decisions to help prevent medical errors.
  2. Healthcare providers: Healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, and other clinicians, are responsible for providing safe and effective care. They can improve patient safety by communicating effectively, verifying patient identity, and following established protocols and procedures.
  3. Healthcare organizations: Healthcare organizations, including hospitals, clinics, and other facilities, have a responsibility to create a culture of safety and implement policies and procedures that prioritize patient safety. They can support patient safety by providing staff training and education, implementing quality improvement programs, and reporting and analyzing safety events.
  4. Regulatory agencies: Regulatory agencies, including government bodies and accrediting organizations, are responsible for establishing and enforcing standards of care to promote patient safety. They can improve patient safety by monitoring healthcare providers’ compliance with regulations and promoting best practices.

Each role is critical to ensuring patient safety. Patients and families can act as advocates for their own care, while healthcare providers, organizations, and regulatory agencies can create a culture of safety and implement best practices to prevent harm and improve patient outcomes.

Principles of Patient Safety in Healthcare

Patient safety is a fundamental component of quality healthcare. There are several principles of patient safety that guide healthcare providers in their efforts to prevent harm and improve patient outcomes.

  1. Patient-centeredness: Patient-centered care is an approach that prioritizes the patient’s values, preferences, and needs in healthcare decision-making. Patient-centered care involves communication, collaboration, and shared decision-making between patients, families, and healthcare providers.
  2. Teamwork and collaboration: Effective teamwork and collaboration are essential for patient safety. Healthcare providers must work together to communicate effectively, share information, and coordinate care to prevent medical errors and improve patient outcomes.
  3. Communication: Communication is a critical aspect of patient safety. Healthcare providers must communicate effectively with patients and other providers to ensure accurate and complete information is exchanged and understood.
  4. Continuous learning and improvement: Healthcare providers must continuously learn and improve their practices to provide safe and effective care. They must stay up to date with current research and best practices, and engage in ongoing quality improvement initiatives to enhance patient safety.
  5. Culture of safety: A culture of safety is one in which patient safety is a top priority, and where healthcare providers are empowered to identify and report safety events without fear of retaliation. This culture promotes transparency, accountability, and a commitment to continuous improvement.

Each principle is essential to promoting patient safety and ensuring high-quality healthcare. By adopting these principles, healthcare providers can help prevent harm, improve patient outcomes, and promote a culture of safety.

Goals and Strategies for Ensuring Patient Safety

Patient safety goals and strategies are essential components of healthcare quality improvement initiatives. They provide a framework for healthcare providers to prevent harm and improve patient outcomes.

Patient Safety Goals

The National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) are a set of guidelines established by The Joint Commission to promote specific patient safety initiatives in healthcare organizations. The NPSGs address a variety of safety concerns, including patient identification, infection prevention, medication safety, and communication.

Internationally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has established Global Patient Safety Challenge initiatives that address specific patient safety concerns, such as medication safety and healthcare-associated infections.

Patient Safety Strategies

Patient safety strategies are specific approaches that healthcare providers can use to improve patient safety. Examples of patient safety strategies include:

  • Standardizing procedures and protocols to reduce variability and improve consistency in care delivery.
  • Utilizing technology to reduce medical errors, such as electronic prescribing systems and barcoding.
  • Implementing effective communication protocols to ensure accurate and timely information exchange between healthcare providers and patients.
  • Educating and training healthcare providers on patient safety principles, strategies, and best practices.

NHS Patient Safety Strategy

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) has established a patient safety strategy that focuses on five key areas:

  1. Improving culture and leadership to promote a strong commitment to patient safety throughout the NHS.
  2. Reducing patient harm by improving the safety of medication, surgery, and other high-risk areas of care.
  3. Engaging patients and their families in safety efforts to promote shared decision-making and patient-centered care.
  4. Developing a skilled and competent workforce that is equipped to provide safe and effective care.
  5. Using data and measurement to continuously monitor and improve patient safety outcomes.

By establishing and implementing patient safety goals and strategies, healthcare providers can make significant strides in improving patient safety and enhancing the quality of care delivered to patients.

Framework for Addressing Safety Incidents in Patient Care

The Patient Safety Response Framework for Managing Incidents is a systematic approach to responding to patient safety incidents in healthcare. It involves identifying and reporting incidents, analyzing the root causes, and developing and implementing solutions to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

The importance of the incident response framework in patient safety cannot be overstated. Responding to incidents promptly and effectively can prevent harm to patients and improve the overall quality of care. The framework also promotes a culture of safety by encouraging open communication, reporting, and learning from mistakes.

Implementing an incident response framework requires healthcare organizations to establish policies and procedures for reporting incidents, conducting investigations, and implementing corrective actions. It also involves training staff on incident response and creating a supportive culture that encourages reporting and learning from incidents.

Overall, the incident response framework is an essential component of patient safety in healthcare, as it provides a systematic approach to identifying and addressing patient safety incidents, ultimately leading to enhanced quality of care leading to improved patient outcomes

Patient Safety and the Importance of Caregiver Awareness

Patient safety awareness is an essential aspect of ensuring patient safety in healthcare. It involves the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to identify and prevent patient safety incidents. Healthcare organizations can promote patient safety awareness by providing ongoing training to staff and promoting a culture of safety.

One way to promote patient safety awareness is through the use of patient safety attendants. Patient safety attendants are trained professionals who are responsible for monitoring patients and ensuring their safety. They are especially important for patients who are at risk of falls or other types of patient safety incidents. Patient safety attendants can help prevent patient safety incidents by identifying potential risks and taking action to address them.

Patient safety is an essential element of healthcare delivery. It involves the prevention of harm to patients through the identification and mitigation of patient safety risks. Ensuring patient safety involves vital patient identity management, which guarantees timely and appropriate healthcare services are delivered to patients. This necessitates the use of unique combinations of patient identifiers to accurately identify patients and their corresponding medical records.

Healthcare organizations can promote patient safety by implementing patient safety goals, strategies, and incident response frameworks. They can also promote patient safety awareness through ongoing training and the use of patient safety attendants.

In conclusion, patient safety is a shared responsibility that requires the involvement of healthcare providers, patients, and their families. By working together, we can create a culture of safety that prioritizes the well-being of patients and ensures the delivery of high-quality healthcare services.

Preventing Medical Malpractice - What You Need to Know

Preventing Medical Malpractice: What You Need to Know

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the recognized standards of care and causes harm to the patient. Unfortunately, medical errors are not uncommon, and patients can suffer severe injuries or even death as a result. 

Preventing Medical Malpractice - What You Need to Know

While patients cannot always prevent medical malpractice from occurring, there are some steps they can take to protect themselves and their families.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a type of negligence that occurs when a healthcare professional fails to provide the standard of care that is expected in their field. This negligence can take many forms, from medication errors to failure to obtain informed consent. 

Medical malpractice claims refer to legal actions taken by patients or their families against healthcare professionals, hospitals, or other medical institutions for actions, or lack of actions, that result in harm or injury. These claims are based on the principle that healthcare providers have a duty of care to their patients, and if they breach that duty, they should be held accountable for the consequences.

Types of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice claims can arise in any medical or healthcare setting. Even things that may seem “small” constitute medical malpractice and could result in serious consequences for a patient.

There are various types of medical malpractice:

  • Misdiagnosis 
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Surgical errors
  • Medication errors
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Birth injuries
  • Childbirth injuries
  • Failure to provide informed consent
  • Medical product liability
  • Hospital negligence
  • Nursing home negligence

Proving Medical Malpractice

To prove medical malpractice, a patient must show that the healthcare provider or facility breached their duty of care by acting negligently or recklessly and that this breach caused the patient harm. This can be challenging, as medical professionals are held to a high standard of care, and proving that they deviated from this standard can be difficult.

“Medical malpractice claims combine legal complexities and emotionally charged issues,” note medical malpractice lawyers at Manchin Injury Law Firm, “A bond of trust is broken.”

How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in the United States?

The statute of limitations is the legal time limit within which a plaintiff must file a lawsuit in order to recover compensation. Each state has its own statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, which can range from one to six years. In general, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is two to three years from the date of the injury or from the date when the patient discovered or should have discovered the injury.

It is essential to understand the statute of limitations and the time limit to file a claim so you can recover compensation.

How Can Patients Protect Themselves?

While not all medical injuries or outcomes are the result of malpractice, patients can take steps to protect themselves and reduce their risk of suffering a medical mistake or malpractice.

Do Your Research

Before choosing a healthcare provider, conduct research. Read reviews, look up their credentials and confirm their experience prior to making an appointment. Check if they have been subject to any disciplinary actions or malpractice lawsuits in the past or any ongoing lawsuits. 

It may also be helpful to leverage your network of friends and family to ask if they have a provider they recommend! 

Document Everything

Documenting everything can help you take charge of your healthcare as well as provide evidence in case a medical mistake or medical error is made. Take note of times, dates, events, medications, doctor’s names, and be specific in your notes. 

Be Honest

Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to your medical history. Be honest about your drug and alcohol history as well as family history of addiction and diseases. Disclose all vitamin supplements and medications you are actively taking. 

Ask Questions

Be an active participant in your healthcare. Ask questions if you do not understand or are unsure if something is right for you. Speaking up and being a part of your care can help a doctor or medical professional provide the best course of treatment for you. 

Be Prepared

No one expects to suffer a medical emergency, but being prepared can help medical professionals and your loved one know what to do during a difficult time. Keep a list of emergency contacts, medical conditions, and medications on hand at all times. If you have a chronic medical condition, consider wearing a medical alert bracelet or necklace. 

It may be a difficult conversation, but consider appointing a trusted family member or friend as your healthcare proxy in the event you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself. 

Preventing Medical Malpractice is Critical

Medical malpractice is a serious issue and can have life-changing consequences for patients and their families. While patients cannot always prevent medical errors from occurring, there are steps they can take to protect themselves. By doing their research, being informed and communicative, being active participants in their healthcare, and being prepared for emergencies, patients can reduce their risk of being harmed by medical malpractice.

How dentists ensure patient safety at their facilities

How dentists ensure patient safety at their facilities

Going to the dentist’s office can be scary for many people. Ensuring these areas are safe and healthy can help alleviate various fears individuals might have. Here is what every respectable and trustworthy dental practice is implementing.

How dentists ensure patient safety at their facilities

Making sure they’re treating the right patient

For starters, it’s important for the dentist and the staff to check who they are treating. They should ask for the patient’s name a few times and perhaps ask for a form of identification. That way, there will be no mistakes and accidental procedures that were not asked for.

Several healthcare providers are even using touchless biometric patient identification platforms – RightPatient is one of them. This platform uses patient photos to identify the EHR. During registration, RightPatient takes a photo of the patient and attaches it to the patient’s EHR, basically “locking” it. Whenever the patient comes in, all they need to do is look at the camera – the platform runs a biometric search, and upon finding the match, provides the 

Checking their medical history

Once they’re sure they have the right patient, medical experts should also go through the individual’s medical history. Checking whether there are any allergies and certain medications that cannot be used is a necessity. Furthermore, if medical history is checked, the dentist should be able to decide what the best treatment for the procedure would be.

Ensuring they’re doing the right procedure

Before they start doing anything, it’s important for the dentist to also make sure they are preparing for the right procedure. By talking to the patient first, they will check whether they are pulling out a tooth, filling one in, or doing some whitening. Checking which part hurts and going over the patient’s needs will ensure everything goes smoothly and no wrong teeth will be pulled out by accident.

Preventing inhalation and swallowing of materials

During the procedure, the professional has to make sure the patient is not inhaling or swallowing any of the materials that are being used. When filling in a tooth or filing it down, it’s vital to instruct the patient then they need to spit and use a dental suction device that will get rid of moisture and different particles. There is also the risk of swallowing crowns and instruments, which is why dentists need to be careful.

Using a dental dam

When a dentist needs to isolate a certain tooth, they will use a dental dam. Moreover, a dam also provides more visibility for a dentist. This thin latex layer is put over an area of the mouth that’s not being examined to avoid direct contact between items. The dam is secured with a clamp and then the tooth they want to examine will be slid through a small hole for the best view.

Considering which instruments to use

For the best results, it’s also important to use the best dental equipment. In addition to purchasing the necessary tools, it’s also crucial to keep up with their cleaning and maintenance which will ensure everything goes according to plan. The staff at the practice needs to learn how to properly use and clean equipment so that the patients are reassured they’re in good hands.

Taking cleanliness seriously

Just like sterilizing the equipment is vital, so is cleaning the entire premises. No one wants their healthcare institution to be dirty and not maintained. With that in mind, the people working in the office need to keep their documents sorted properly and out of view, disinfect the surfaces and floors, maintain the furniture, and do anything else they can in order to keep the space spotless. There is also the option of hiring professional cleaners in order to have everything tidy.

Being careful with radiography

Experts also need to understand that being careful with radiography is also essential. For one, even though X-rays are used in low intensity, it’s still best to restrict exposure to radiation and be cautious.

Wearing protective gear

Both dentists and patients should be wearing protective gear. For example, protective eyewear prevents germs and fluids that fly out of the mouth from spreading.

Following safety standards

Finally, it’s important to note that every country has its own safety and health regulations that businesses have to follow. As they are inspected regularly, it’s vital for every dental practice to stick to these rules and keep potentially harmful chemicals and diseases at bay. Every employee has to be properly trained as well as keep up with all the latest updates in the field.

As you can see, there are various ways in which dental practices keep their spaces safe and healthy. If this was the reason why you might have been scared of the dentist, rest assured that it’s all properly handled.

How Healthcare Providers Can Boost Their Revenue Cycle

How Healthcare Providers Can Boost Their Revenue Cycle

Tips on Improving the Revenue Cycle in Healthcare

Running a medical clinic or a doctor’s office involves the ideal balance between financial and healthcare concerns. While the number one focus must be on ensuring that patients receive ideal care, clinics must also consider how much money they bring in every quarter.

Providers may need to focus on their ABA billing procedures when running a practice involving behavioral analysis or therapy. If your clinic is not bringing in consistent revenue, despite having a lot of patients, there may be an issue with how you are operating.

How Healthcare Providers Can Boost Their Revenue Cycle

Improving the revenue cycle in healthcare is not straightforward. No single method or strategy can deliver a significant boost to your revenue while not incurring additional expenses. 

The most sustainable way to improve the revenue cycle in healthcare is to follow a series of practices, such as the ones we have outlined below.

Update Patients on Billing

How can a patient submit payment for a therapy session if they are unaware of how medical billing works? Whether your clinic sees patients with specific insurances or even caters to uninsured patients, updating people on billing methods and practices is so important.

Consider educating patients on medical billing as a method of bad debt avoidance. If your staff can communicate with a patient about when they will receive a bill and how much they will have to pay, patients will be ready to pay that bill in the coming weeks.

Patients should be educated on the costs of regular appointments and/or special visits ahead of time. There should be no surprises for someone when they open a medical bill, as everything listed on the document should have already been communicated to them.

Invest In Your Staff

Having a high-quality group of staff, such as PSRs and medical assistants, can make all the difference when it comes to ABA billing and related matters. Investing in your staff means providing them with onboarding and annual training to keep them up to speed on the latest practices related to healthcare billing. If your staff understands how an advanced behavioral analysis-related practice must bill its patients to maintain its revenue cycle, they can better communicate the relevant information to your patients.

Aside from continuous training for staff, practices should also ensure they have a healthy number of people on the floor each day. Suppose you have very few staff members who are overworked and being pulled in different directions. In that case, they are unlikely to have the time or mental energy to have lengthy billing conversations with patients before or after their appointments.

Offer Patients a Variety of Payment Options

Every clinic must accept it will be catering to a different category of patients, especially where billing and insurance are concerned. If your practice is popular enough only to accept specific insurances, then you are already in an ideal situation.

Those practices that must branch out to less desirable insurance policies or uninsured patients must get creative. Offering patients a variety of payment options ensures they are much more likely to promptly and fully pay for the services they are receiving.

One of the strategies is to work with third-party payers. There are lenders and financial institutions that offer healthcare-specific credit cards, allowing patients to pay their medical bills onto the card and then pay off the balance in equal monthly installments over 6, 12, or 24 months with 0% interest.

Leveraging such payment options allows a healthcare practice to assist those patients that may struggle with timely payments. Rather than a patient struggling to pay their bill, they can use a credit card or medical loan, ensuring their monthly payments are manageable. By offering a range of payment methods, your clinic will have far fewer “problem patients” from a financial perspective.

Ensure Patients Are Receiving Timely Care

A patient contributes to the revenue cycle of your clinic by being seen regularly and frequently. Many healthcare practices make critical errors when assessing their patient numbers. They look at consolidated lists of how many patients have seen their clinic’s primary care provider or specialist within the past few years. Such information is useful, but not when it comes to your clinic’s revenue cycle.

When assessing patient data, a clinic should see how many patients are seen every quarter. They should also determine how many times a year each patient has an appointment in the clinic. If there are patients with only a single appointment in a year or none at all, they require attention.

Having staff proactively reach out to patients for follow-up therapy sessions or periodic consultations is a great way to boost your clinic’s finances. Such an action from your staff also helps patients by allowing them to visit with their therapist more frequently.

Focus On Reducing Denied Claims

One of the biggest impediments to a hospital’s revenue cycle is denied claims. These occur when a payer “denies” the claim that’s submitted by the healthcare provider due to a number of reasons. However, one of the most common reasons for claim denials is sending the claim against the wrong patient’s information. For instance, Jenny had her tonsillectomy done successfully – all that’s waiting is to submit the claim to her insurer. However, instead of using her medical record, the healthcare provider used Jennifer’s EHR and sent it to the payer. Upon inspection, the payer will find that Jennifer isn’t the one who was operated on and will reject the claim.

To reduce denied claims, healthcare providers are using touchless biometric patient identification platforms like RightPatient. RightPatient ensures that the appropriate EHR is provided using patient photos. Whenever a patient looks at the camera, the platform runs a biometric search and provides the accurate EHR – helping reduce denied claims. 

Patient Safety in Healthcare - 3 Patient Identifiers

Patient Safety in Healthcare: 3 Patient Identifiers

In healthcare, errors are much more serious than they are in most other fields. In retail, an error might result in someone simply getting the wrong sweater. In medicine, an error can cause a patient’s death, in the worst-case scenario. Because of this, patient safety protocols to prevent errors are critically important. 

Patient Safety in Healthcare - 3 Patient Identifiers

Medical errors are inevitable. Human beings make mistakes. However, there are ways to minimize errors and promote patient safety. Patient identifiers are important in-patient safety protocols as they help ensure that each patient is getting the right treatment. 

Here’s what every medical professional needs to know about patient identifiers and why they’re important. 

Patient Mix-ups: A Common Error 

Doctors and nurses work with many patients on any given day. It’s not safe to expect medical professionals to be able to accurately identify patients without rigorous verification methods. When providers fail to check patients’ identifications or don’t use enough verification methods, it’s very common for mix-ups to occur. 

Patient mix-ups or misidentification errors can have devastating consequences. If a patient is given medication intended for someone else, it could interact with another drug they are taking and produce life-threatening symptoms. Or, a patient could be given a blood transfusion with the wrong blood type. Mix-ups have even resulted in people being sent home with the wrong baby after giving birth! 

There are so many potential consequences when record and patient mix-ups occur, but these errors should be highly preventable. Using multiple patient identifiers to verify a patient’s identity is the best way to make sure that the right treatment plan is used for the correct patient. 

What Are Patient Identifiers? 

Patient identifiers are methods that are used to verify a patient’s identity for treatment and monitoring purposes. Some patient identifiers include: 

  • First and last name 
  • Date of birth 
  • Assigned patient number 
  • Telephone number 

Hospital patients wear medical bracelets to identify them. However, this is simply a location of each patient’s identifying information, not an identifier itself, and must be worn at all times to reliably identify patients. If it is left near a patient instead of on the patient’s person, it cannot be viewed as a reliable source of identifying information.

Generally, providers will ask a patient for verbal confirmation of their identifiers before commencing treatment or providing medications. Medical facilities should also have protocols in place for patients who are unable to confirm their own information verbally. 

What Are NOT Considered Safe Identifiers? 

Information about a patient that could apply to other patients, even in combination, is not considered identifying information. Age, for instance, is not a unique identifier, even in combination with the patient’s name, while the date of birth is. 

Another unacceptable form of identification is a patient’s bed or room number. As these can change quickly, even in the course of a single day, and will ultimately apply to many patients, they are not a reliable way to confirm a patient’s identity. 

Using 3 Identifiers Helps Promote Safety 

In a hospital setting, it’s recommended that providers use two identifiers to ensure that they are working with the right patient and providing the correct treatment. However, adding a third identifier can make the patient care process even safer. 

In cybersecurity, we’re all used to “two-factor authentication” at this point, which helps to safeguard a person’s online information. In the hospital setting, the use of several identifiers (at least two) helps to drastically reduce the opportunity for errors, just as two-factor authentication helps to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. 

Moreover, there are various to ensure accurate patient identification – many healthcare providers are using touchless biometric patient identification platforms like RightPatient. The RightPatient platform, for instance, uses patient photos to identify their medical records. By using patient photos, the patient ID platform easily identifies their medical records without errors. 

Electronic Health Record Safety Protocols 

Electronic health records (EHR) have greatly improved patient care since they have achieved widespread use. However, precautions are still required to avoid misidentification errors. The U.S. government has released a checklist that organizations can use to help ensure that their EHR protocols are in line with federal recommendations. 

For example, systems should be set up to clearly display patient information in different views, display only one patient record on the screen at a time, and alert when a potential duplicate record is created. In addition to properly using patient identifiers every single time, it’s important for healthcare organizations to follow best practices for using and maintaining electronic records. 

As more health services go virtual, maintaining proper security and IT protocols will become even more important in healthcare for the purposes of patient privacy and safety. 

Training is Essential 

At the end of the day, safety comes down to personnel. No one is perfect, but proper training is essential and goes a long way toward making hospitals as safe as possible. Everyone working in the hospital, including doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, and medical assistants must understand the importance of ensuring that they are working with the right patient when they provide treatment. 

It’s easy for someone to slip up and assume that they have the right patient without verifying their information. Most of the time, this won’t result in any issues, but in a worst-case scenario, it can be deadly. Anyone involved with caring for patients needs to understand this and receive the necessary training to help ensure patient safety. 

7 Things Medical Facilities Can Do to Enhance Patient Safety

7 Things Medical Facilities Can Do to Enhance Patient Safety

Medical facilities must prioritize patient safety. It is critical to ensure that patients receive the best possible treatment and are kept safe during their stay. To create a safe and secure environment for patients and staff, medical facilities must take proactive steps to reduce the risk of injury or illness. In this blog post, we’ll discuss 10 tips to help enhance patient safety in medical facilities.

7 Things Medical Facilities Can Do to Enhance Patient Safety

Implementing a No-Tolerance Policy for Medication Errors

It’s essential to establish and maintain a no-tolerance policy for medication errors. This can help avoid future incidents and ensure errors are not made again.

To create a no-tolerance policy, the medical facility should start by establishing clear protocols for reporting and responding to medication errors. All employees must be informed of the procedure and the consequences of not following it. Depending on how serious the mistake was, disciplinary action can be taken, such as suspension or dismissal.

The medical facility should also ensure that staff members have access to the right resources when dispensing medications. This includes ensuring that they have accurate drug information, including dose information and contraindications. In addition, they should have appropriate training on medication safety and access to a pharmacist who can answer any questions they may have. 

Hire Qualified Public Health Professionals

By hiring qualified public health professionals, medical facilities can be sure that their patients are receiving the best care possible. Having an experienced public health professional onboard will enable the facility to respond to the various needs of its patients more effectively.

To achieve this goal, medical facilities should seek out individuals with an accredited master’s degree in public health (MPH). There are many online accredited MPH programs available, including the Online Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences offered by Tulane University. Professionals with an accredited MPH will be better equipped to identify and address potential safety issues in a medical facility and implement the necessary changes to ensure safety protocols are followed.

Conducting Regular Risk Assessments

Regular risk assessments are a vital part of patient safety in medical facilities. Risk assessments help to identify areas where safety may be compromised and allow facilities to take the necessary steps to address these issues before they become a problem. By conducting regular risk assessments, medical facilities can stay ahead of potential risks and protect their patients from harm.

The risk assessment process should include all staff members and involve evaluating every aspect of the facility’s operations. It is important to pay attention to any changes made since the last assessment and note any new risks that may have arisen. All aspects of the facility, such as its physical layout, processes, equipment, and safety protocols, should be considered during the assessment.

The results of the risk assessment should be documented and shared with all staff members. Once the risks have been identified, they should be addressed promptly to ensure that they do not become a problem in the future. 

Address Your Patients’ Physical Needs

Medical facilities must ensure that their patient’s physical needs are being met to ensure patient safety.

  • Medical facilities should ensure adequate staffing to meet the needs of the patient population. This includes registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, and other healthcare providers. It also means having sufficient resources and equipment to provide the necessary care for each patient.
  • In addition, medical facilities should ensure that their environment is clean and safe. This includes maintaining high standards of hygiene and sanitization, as well as appropriate maintenance and security measures. Medical facilities should also be aware of any potential environmental hazards that may affect their patients’ health and safety.
  • Medical facilities should strive to provide care that is tailored to the individual needs of their patients. This includes taking into account their age, gender, cultural background, and any other special circumstances. 

Implementing New Technologies

New technologies offer exciting opportunities for medical facilities to improve patient safety and enhance the quality of care. By utilizing advanced systems, facilities can monitor vital signs, track medications, and monitor infection rates in real-time. 

Some examples of new technologies that medical facilities can consider implementing include Electronic Health Records (EHRs). EHRs allow clinicians to access and share patient data quickly and securely, use bedside barcode scanners to reduce the risk of medication errors, and establish patient portals, enabling patients to access their medical information remotely. Other technologies, such as predictive analytics and machine learning, can help predict future risks, enabling the facility to take preemptive steps. 

Several healthcare providers are improving patient safety with the help of touchless biometric patient identification platforms like RightPatient. With RightPatient, healthcare providers can ensure that the accurate EHR is used after identifying the patient properly – preventing patient mixups, ensuring patient data integrity, and improving healthcare outcomes.  

Enhancing Communication Between Staff Members

Good communication between staff members is essential for ensuring patient safety. Medical facilities should take steps to ensure that their staff can communicate effectively to provide the best possible care.

One way to enhance communication between staff is to have regular meetings to discuss patient care and safety. Staff members can discuss their issues and come up with solutions at these meetings. Additionally, the staff should be encouraged to express any questions or concerns they may have regarding safety.

Follow Proper Handwashing Procedures

Handwashing helps to prevent the spread of germs and infections from one patient to another. Handwashing must be performed correctly and regularly. Medical facilities should have policies in place that clearly outline proper handwashing procedures and ensure that all staff members are trained and adhere to them.

Healthcare professionals should use soap, warm water, and a 20-second hand wash to clean their hands properly. It’s important to cover all surfaces of the hands, including the fingernails, wrists, and in between the fingers. Additionally, they should rinse off all the soap before drying with a single-use paper towel.

Medical facilities should also provide hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content in all patient care areas so that staff can quickly disinfect their hands in between patients or whenever washing hands isn’t an option.


Patient safety is an important component of successful healthcare. Medical facilities must ensure their procedures are in place to prevent patient harm and reduce the risk of medical errors. The measures mentioned above will help medical facilities save lives, build trust with their patients, and develop lasting relationships. 

Moreover, medical facilities should strive to continuously improve existing protocols to ensure patient safety remains a priority. To remain competitive in today’s market, medical facilities should prioritize patient safety and put measures into action that will help them achieve this goal.

5 Features to Keep in Mind When Purchasing Medical Equipment

5 Features to Keep in Mind When Purchasing Medical Equipment

Not only does medical equipment require a significant financial commitment, but it also requires careful consideration when selecting the right product for the job. However, purchasing medical equipment can be overwhelming whether you’re a medical professional or a consumer. With so many options on the market and varying prices, it’s essential to research before making a purchase. Here are five key factors to consider when shopping for medical equipment.

5 Features to Keep in Mind When Purchasing Medical Equipment


Look for products certified by the FDA and other regulating bodies to ensure that they meet safety standards and provide the best possible patient outcome. Purchase products from reputable brands or manufacturers with a history of producing quality medical equipment. Ask for recommendations from people who have purchased similar products before, and read reviews online to understand the product’s performance better. It is always best to see the equipment and request a demonstration before purchasing.


Medical equipment prices vary greatly depending on the type and brand, so make sure to shop for the best deal. Check to see if the product is included in any discounts or promotions that may be offered. Additionally, look into whether financing options are available so you can spread out the cost of your purchase over time. When comparing prices, make sure to factor in all costs associated with the purchase, including shipping and taxes. Remember to factor in any ongoing costs associated with the product, such as maintenance and repair fees. If you are budget-conscious, consider leasing medical equipment as an economical solution. 


It’s critical to review information about the product’s safety features before making a purchase, such as independent testing or certifications, design and production standards, ease of maintenance/cleaning, and specifications and materials used. Furthermore, an experience in human factors regulatory submissions can ensure that the pieces of equipment chosen will safely meet all user needs. Consider personnel experience and facility training investments when selecting items as well. Safety must never be compromised when selecting medical equipment, as correctly used equipment should prevent harm or injury.

Ease of Use

Look for products that are designed with user-friendly features and come with detailed instructions on how to operate them safely and effectively. Many pieces of medical equipment require special training or certification to use correctly, so check what is required before making your purchase. Consider how long it will take staff to learn how to use the product and what support is available if they need help. If you are purchasing a home setting, look for products that will be easy to use and maintain without the assistance of a technician. Additionally, inquire about any remote support options the manufacturer may provide in case you run into any issues with the product.


When buying medical equipment, it is important to look for warranties that will protect you in the event of any malfunctions or defects. Most manufacturers offer limited warranties on their products, so read the fine print to understand what is covered and how long the warranty lasts. It is also important to inquire about any service contracts offered by manufacturers. A service contract can protect your investment, as it covers any repairs or maintenance costs associated with the equipment over a certain period.

There are many factors to consider when purchasing medical equipment, from quality and price to warranties and support. Hence, researching different brands and products pays off before deciding what is right for your needs. Investing in high-quality items with excellent customer service can save you money while providing peace of mind knowing that whatever device or machine you have purchased is reliable enough for long-term use.

Why Ransomware Scenarios Commonly Occur at Hospitals

Why Ransomware Scenarios Commonly Occur at Hospitals

Hospitals have advanced substantially over the last several decades. In particular, computer systems have streamlined a great many processes and made many hospital functions — such as data-driven decision-making — more convenient for medical professionals and staff. Unfortunately, this increase in convenience has also come with a substantial number of new risks and threats. 

Why Ransomware Scenarios Commonly Occur at Hospitals

Since hospitals have integrated computer systems into their operations, they’ve become a common target of cybercriminals, and many have become frequent victims of cyberattacks. Specifically, ransomware attacks have become increasingly common in the healthcare space. Understanding the reasons why these attacks have become prevalent in hospitals can give one a deeper understanding of cybercrime, healthcare, and cybersecurity. 

Here is why ransomware scenarios commonly occur at hospitals. 

What Is a Ransomware Attack?

Ransomware attacks are a common form of cybercrime that involves holding an individual or organization’s information for ransom. Typically, the cybercriminal doing the attack will either threaten to release private information to the public or keep the victim locked out of their computer network unless given a ransom, which is typically a sum of money. 

Why Hospitals Are Frequent Victims of Cyberattacks

While many organizations fall victim to cyberattacks, hospitals are particularly vulnerable to this form of cybercrime. Understanding the reasons for this is essential to understanding why cybersecurity is so important in the healthcare space. 

Here is why hospitals are frequent victims of cyberattacks. 

Large Amounts of Patient Information

One of the main reasons that hospitals are a common target for ransomware attacks is that their computer systems typically store large amounts of patient data. This can include private information such as patients’ social security numbers, financial information, medical information, and more. 

Given the private nature of this information, hospitals are typically more willing to pay ransoms to have this information stay private. For cybercriminals, this makes hospitals a prime target for schemes of this nature, and they often prey on hospitals with weak cybersecurity measures for this reason. 

The Vulnerability of Legacy Systems in Hospitals

Over the last two decades, computer technology has advanced substantially. Unfortunately for many hospitals, this means that the computer systems they may have installed in the 2000s have likely become outdated. These legacy systems are typically incredibly vulnerable to cyberattacks and have a number of weaknesses that can be exploited by cybercriminals to gain access. 

While hospitals may want to update or upgrade their systems, this can be a difficult task. The process of replacing a hospital’s computer system is both comprehensive and expensive. This has left many hospitals vulnerable to ransomware attacks that make the private information of patients more accessible to cybercriminals. 

Third-Party Vendors

For many hospitals, working with third-party vendors is a necessary aspect of operating. These third-party vendors can be organizations like PPE suppliers and health insurance companies. Though hospitals need the help of these organizations to operate, it can also make them vulnerable to a variety of cyberattacks. 

Oftentimes, third-party vendors will have access to the computer system of the hospitals they serve. Unfortunately, this means that if a third-party vendor is hacked, the hackers can gain access to a hospital’s network as well. This being the case, many hospitals have begun to limit the access that third-party vendors have to their networks in order to minimize the risk of being hacked. 

Ransomware Attacks Impact Patients

When a hospital becomes the victim of a ransomware attack, it can have a drastic effect on patients. Given the chaos of being locked out of their computer system, hospitals typically aren’t able to serve patients efficiently or at all until the matter is resolved. 

Knowing that hospitals will be pressured to succumb to their demands to meet patient needs, cybercriminals often target these types of organizations. This willingness to comply with cyber criminals in order to minimize the effect on patient outcomes makes hospitals a great target for cybercriminals looking to strongarm an organization into quickly paying a ransom. 

Preventing Ransomware Attacks

Though hospitals may be at a greater risk of being the victim of ransomware attacks than other organizations, some measures can be taken to mitigate their risk of becoming a victim of this type of attack. By being proactive and implementing robust defense measures, hospitals can increase their chances of thwarting the attempts of cybercriminals and keeping their data safe. 

Here are some measures that hospitals can take to prevent ransomware attacks

Update Computer Systems

Though it may be a complicated and expensive undertaking, updating computer networks in hospitals can ultimately save them money if it keeps them from being the victim of a ransomware attack. Newer computer systems have more robust cybersecurity measures and can be updated regularly while many legacy systems can’t. 

Given the substantial increase in security that new computer systems offer, along with the vulnerability of legacy systems, installing new computer systems is becoming a requisite for hospitals intent on safeguarding themselves from ransomware attacks. 

Limit Third-Party Vendor Access

As has been noted, third-party vendors pose a huge risk to hospitals when given full access to computer systems. This being the case, limiting the access that third-party vendors have can greatly bolster a hospital’s defenses. By not allowing these entities to have access to their computer systems, hospitals can rest assured that if these organizations’ networks are compromised, they won’t be at risk of being compromised as well. 

Educate and Train Hospital Employees

While hospitals may spend a substantial amount of money crafting robust cybersecurity measures, these can be in vain if employees are being frivolous. As such, it’s important for hospitals to educate and train employees who have access to their computers on how to utilize them responsibly. 

By ensuring that all employees are aware of cyber threats and the practices that can leave an organization vulnerable to attacks, hospitals can rest assured that they aren’t inadvertently weakening their cybersecurity efforts. 

Hospitals Should Prioritize Cybersecurity

Ransomware attacks have become dishearteningly common among healthcare organizations. Given this significant risk, it’s vital that all hospitals put effort and resources into bolstering cybersecurity measures in many different ways. 

The more robust cybersecurity efforts become in the healthcare space, the more cybercriminals will be deterred from attempting to hold the private information of healthcare organizations at ransom. 

4 Ways to Improve Patient Care

4 Ways to Improve Patient Care

Patient care is a top priority for any healthcare organization. To provide the best possible care for your patients, you must constantly look for ways to improve your process. This blog post will discuss four ways you can improve patient care in your organization.

4 Ways to Improve Patient Care

Utilize Technology

The healthcare industry must use technology to improve patient care in today’s ever-increasingly connected and digital world. First, accessibility to technology should be a priority. Hospitals and other facilities should ensure they are equipped with the latest technology, including digital medical records and online consultation options. This will allow patients to access their health information quickly, eliminating time-consuming paperwork.

Technology can also make communication between staff members easier and more streamlined, resulting in improved collaboration and diagnosis. In addition, cutting-edge software can help reduce errors that could jeopardize patient safety. For instance, using a touchless biometric patient identification platform like RightPatient can prevent patient mix-ups, ensure patient data integrity, and improve patient outcomes. Everything from medical imaging systems for diagnostics to innovative tools for tracking vital signs can be incorporated into any practice or hospital facility. By leveraging technology, healthcare providers can minimize risk, improve productivity levels, enhance accuracy, improve collaboration among teams, and ultimately provide better patient care.

Provide Emotional Support

When people are in difficult medical situations and are struggling mentally or emotionally, providing them with compassion and understanding can make all the difference. It’s not only about having someone listen to their concerns or offering practical advice. It can also involve demonstrating empathy, being available as a sounding board, and simply offering reassurance that everything will be okay.

This emotional support may mean the difference between a health issue progressing or healing properly. You can hire professionals from firms such as Absent Answer to always offer live chats and keep the patients connected. It will enable patients to feel safe enough to open up and talk through what they’re experiencing knowing that there is someone ready to listen without judgment. 

Show Respect

This means respecting patients’ rights to privacy and autonomy and respecting them as individuals with unique needs and experiences. Healthcare workers should foster a culture of respect throughout the organization by setting examples, recognizing staff members who show high levels of respect in their patient interactions, and reinforcing respectful behavior.

This means listening to what the patient has to say without interrupting or making assumptions, understanding when the patient is having difficulty communicating their needs, using appropriate language, and avoiding any kind of bias or discrimination. Respectful care also involves giving patients enough time to ask questions and make decisions, being open to feedback, and ensuring that all staff members are treated equally.

Educate Patients

When people understand their health and the treatments they need, they’re more likely to comply with the treatment plan and follow through. This can help prevent medical errors and reduce costs by encouraging patients to take responsibility for their health. Providing educational materials in various formats, such as online videos, printable pamphlets, and even mobile apps can help simplify complex concepts and make them easier to understand.

Additionally, providing patients with information on alternative treatments or strategies can help them weigh their options and make an informed decision about their care. With access to the right resources, individuals can choose the best course of action for their health needs.

Improving patient care involves being compassionate and understanding with patients, demonstrating respect for their rights and needs, and educating them on how to take better care of themselves. When healthcare providers offer this comprehensive care, they can create an environment where patients feel safe, secure, and empowered.

4 Essential Tips for Hospitals to Improve Patient Care

4 Essential Tips for Hospitals to Improve Patient Care

Providing quality patient care is the foundation of every hospital and healthcare facility. When a hospital works with a patient-centric approach, they end up engaging with their patients by learning about their experiences. The patients are content when they see their input and individuality being acknowledged.

Healthcare workers who value their patients’ well-being above everything else work towards using treatment practices that prioritize the quality of actions over quantity. Every effort they make to care for their patients leads to positive results. These may include treatments that have lasting effects, fewer patients having to check into the hospital, and satisfied patients who are happy with the care and attention they received while at the facility.

4 Essential Tips for Hospitals to Improve Patient Care

The perspective patients form about the health care facility is primarily attributed to the hospital’s success and reputation in the area. This is why it is of utmost importance to design care and treatments that cater to the patients and all their needs. A healthcare facility should be equipped with all the materials and equipment needed to treat patients. The same goes for the staff. You need to have qualified staff and personnel to provide care for the patients who are admitted to your facility. Thankfully, many passionate young individuals are switching careers to the medical side with the introduction of online second degree accelerated BSN programs. This way, you can find and hire the right people who could become a part of your team and add to the overall reputation of your healthcare facility.

Here is a list of ways your hospital or another medical facility can improve patient care practices.

Use the best available equipment and technology

People who work at hospitals make several prompt decisions related to patient care. This continuous need to be quick and vigilant means it’s crucial for a healthcare facility to have the latest equipment, machines, and tools for treatment and diagnosis. This also includes using the latest technology for maintaining patients’ records. Several US healthcare providers are using biometric patient identification platforms like RightPatient to prevent patient data mix-ups and ensure that the right EHRs are used by physicians. 

Incorrect diagnoses are a sign of incapability but can also prove to be hazardous and, in some cases, fatal. When you have the required equipment for treating your patients, you end up winning the trust and acknowledgment of your patients. Your hospital will be known for its responsible ways of providing treatment and care.

Practice Communication that is Efficient and Transparent

Every healthcare worker should possess the right communication skills. They should be clear in their words and compassionate in how they talk. That’s because, in today’s age, patients play an active and vital role in their treatment process. 

Healthcare workers should aim to state the science behind the treatment and the possible experience that a patient will have in the simplest way possible. They shouldn’t make assumptions or have a patronizing tone. Use the language best suited to a particular situation, which is only possible when a healthcare worker has conversations with the patient. This way, you also answer any questions they may have and can gauge their understanding of a treatment or procedure.

When there’s a productive level of communication amongst the staff members, the entire team works more efficiently and well. There’s little chance of mistakes, improper diagnosis, and no gaps in the information.

Work With Patient Advocates

Apart from effective communication among the staff and other related personnel of the hospital, it’s also imperative to bring in patient advocates to a medical team. This can lead to a better understanding of the patient’s needs, feelings, and preferences by the entire team.

These advocates can either be in-house hospital staff or outsourced from a third-party agency. Patient advocates are a means of support to patients during their treatment. They listen to them, comfort them, encourage them and facilitate a conversation with professionals who can further help them along the way.

Since they play a guiding role in these patients’ journeys, patient advocates can bond and connect with patients in a way that other members of the hospital’s team are unable to do. This often results in an in-depth insight into the patient’s mind and can help design an effective treatment plan. 

Follow Up After Treatment

It should be known that a hospital’s care for their patient doesn’t end when the patient pays their bills and walks out of the hospital. There are times when it is necessary for patients to actively participate in programs offered by other facilities or even in the comfort of their own homes. These can be physical therapy or some form of rehabilitation. This is done to stop a situation from getting out of hand in the near future and ensure that the treatment has lasting effects.

Hospitals and other healthcare-providing facilities should continue to maintain relationships with their patients. They can do this through follow-up appointments, where a healthcare provider from the team can pay a visit to the patient’s residence and analyze the treatment plan by addressing any concerns they may have about their health. Patients may also seek advice, helpful tips, reminders, or any necessary guidance regarding their overall health.

The most valuable aspect of any treatment is information. That’s what a patient needs the most, regardless of where treatment might lead. There’s no way to be sure about whether a patient will attend any further appointments in the future, even if a healthcare worker recommends it to them. So, when a patient is discharged, all facilities should provide patients with helpful information. This includes everything about their condition, the treatment, and what might happen in the future. This way, the patient has all the information they need to make a decision for themselves. With the information they have, they can either get readmitted to the hospital, consult with another doctor or facility, or not do anything about their condition.


Running a hospital or any other healthcare facility is not easy. It requires a lot of attention to detail, precision, the right resources, and working with an objective to provide the best possible health care to your patients. The entire team should share this objective, from the chief medical officer and senior surgeons to the cleaners and other support staff. Patients place a lot of trust in a hospital when choosing one for their treatment and their loved ones. It is only fair that they receive the best care in return for their trust.