In today’s world, it is not surprising to know how several illnesses, peculiar diseases, and health issues are raising concerns for everyone worldwide. Bacterias and viruses are now stronger than ever. It is almost inevitable for one to avoid a visit to the hospital more often than they would expect. A lot of people rely on social media or search engines to self-diagnose their medical discomforts, just to avoid a visit to the doctor’s clinic or the hospital.
It is certainly not the correct treatment procedure or precautionary measure to follow and abide by. With the rising rates of pollution and the emergence of dangerous diseases, one must never delay seeking professional help and advice. To prevent the disease from spreading or deteriorating your current condition, a trip to the hospital and a quick check-up might be the best thing to do. However, we cannot deny the fact that a lot of people face a decline in their health and well-being, and in some cases, the hospital is to be blamed. It may be ironic to think about how a patient could get worse in a place where they were ought to be better in terms of health. There must be certain precautions taken by every hospital to ensure every patient is healthy, well treated, and nobody’s affected by any new bacteria. A patient’s safety is always the doctor’s priority. This article will take you through some of the necessary procedures a hospital can follow to ensure a patient’s well-being.
THE NEED FOR SKILLED STAFF
All of the staff members in a healthcare facility must be well aware of the HAI’s that exist and how they could take and preach some basic precautionary measures that could ensure a patient’s safety. Often it is the nurse’s job to take care of the patient and be a teacher to them as well. The more skilled, educated, and experienced nurses are, the more reduced are the risks of such infections. While the recommended education level to be a registered nurse may be a BSN- Bachelor in the science of nursing, it would be great for a hospital to have hired at least a few nurses who are an MSN-Masters of science in nursing. There are also many MSN online programs that nurses could take to excel in their respective fields. Skillful nurses are great not only for patients but also for other nurses as they can further teach the nursing staff about safety health measures that must be taken in a hospital.
PROPER HAND HYGIENE
There are several types of hospital-acquired infections out there (HAI’s), also known as nosocomial infection. They are caused by several fungal, bacterial, and microorganisms that are acquired in a healthcare facility such as a hospital. Even though the patient may have contracted the infection from their skin, it still developed in a healthcare facility, which is why it is called nosocomial. Common infections that occur from HAI’s are pneumonia, antibiotic-resistant infections, bloodstream infection (BSI), surgical site infection (SSI), and urinary tract infection (UTI). To deal with most of these infections, it is vital to maintain proper hand hygiene. Keeping your hands clean at all times is essential, as hospitals tend to be severely infected by all kinds of germs. Therefore, it is best for a hospital not only to be strict in their hygiene but also to place antibacterial hand-sanitizer dispensers at various places of the hospital as well as mini hand-wash stations.
VISITOR/NEW ADMISSION PRECAUTIONS
Hospitals are the hotspots for infections and can sometimes play a catalyst’s role in their spread. While most of us think that hospitals are sterile healthcare safety zones in the battle, but the truth is they could potentially be ground zero for invasion. If you look into it, it makes sense. Patients that are severely stricken by dangerous diseases and kept near patients that are already at a vulnerable stage in terms of health are all looked after by the same health workers. They treat all kinds of patients with all kinds of illnesses and often even use the same equipment. Whether it is family members or close loved ones visiting a patient or a new admission into the hospital, regardless of what the patient might be suffering from, a hospital must lay down its precautionary guidelines and must communicate it to their staff to avoid further contamination. This must be done especially for the prevention of contagious viruses. Children must avoid coming in contact with patients who are ill, masks should be worn by visitors, and patients who are sick must not be kept close to those with serious illnesses as this could deteriorate other patients’ health, especially if they suffer from underlying medical conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that in the United States alone, around 1.7 million people are infected with hospital-acquired infections (HAI’s) each year, out of which 99,000 do not survive. That is more than twice the number of people who die in a car accident. This is quite alarming on its own. Often, doctors prescribe patients with antibiotics in hopes that it could prevent infections or post-surgical infections, but instead, the drug tends to kill all the healthy bacteria, and even more dangerous germs swoop into the patient’s body ultimately placing them in a more vulnerable position to even begin with. These cases are widespread, the inappropriate use of antibiotics encourages superbugs to develop inside a patient’s body, and these ‘superbugs’ are immune to drugs and kill the good, protective bacteria that helps to fight off the harmful bacteria.
Awareness measures must be taken by all means. Most people often are ill-informed of such kinds of HAI’s. Thus hospitals must create as much awareness by asking staff members to communicate safeguards to patients by placing awareness posters all over the hospital and even running awareness campaigns for the public to benefit as a whole.
CREATING A POLICY FOR NEVER EVENTS
There are a ton of hospital errors that should never take place, but unfortunately, they still do. Some of these errors include operating on the wrong person or the wrong body part, deaths occurring from serious medication mistakes, leaving objects inside patients post-surgery, and injuries that tend to be severe because of slip and fall.
All healthcare facilities must have a policy that deals and compensates for such events that might occur. The plan should include some basic rules and ethics such as expressing sincere regret and apologizing to the patient and the patient’s family, reporting the event to an outsider concerned agency in a short period, analysis to find the root cause to the incident, waiving related costs incurred during the event or after treating it, providing the patient and the family with a copy of the policy, especially if requested for.
As the health concerns are on the rise at a global level and happen to be contagious, safety measures for patients must be taken by all means. Similar to the most recent case of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), that has turned into a widespread global pandemic by the World Health Organization. It also sometimes spread from not only one patient to another but the staff working in the hospital as well. It is another recent form of evidence of how such viruses and HAI’s could just deteriorate health conditions within a community. Such precautions stated above could prevent that from happening if pondered upon and effectively implemented by hospitals wisely.