Need stressed to develop patient safety attitudes

KARACHI: In order to increase awareness about safe patient care, Ziauddin University organized a symposium on Patient Safety, titled, ‘Need to Develop Patient Safety Attitudes: Why, What, How & for Whom’.

This was intended to promote patient safety awareness in all healthcare professionals including medical practitioners, nurses, paramedics, healthcare teachers and 3rd year medical students.

At national level, the initiative of Ziauddin University for patient safety integration at undergraduate level of health professionals’ curricula is one of its quality seeking behaviours towards the highest health care standards. Dr Bushra Shirazi, Associate Dean Clinical (KDLB), Dr Ziauddin Hospital, spoke on prevention of medical errors. She highlighted the importance of root cause analysis and developing systems.

Dr Bushra stressed that “Errors must be accepted as evidence of system flaws, not character flaws” as also reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that 90% of preventable deaths seem to result from failures in the system of care organization or procedures, but not from caregivers’ negligence.” This was reported in To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 2000

Prof Dr Aasim Ahmad, Dean and Chief Nephrologist, Kidney Centre Post Graduate Training Institute, discussed the importance of safe patient care with special emphasis on error disclosure, discouraging blame game and developing systems promoting patient safety. Dr Aasim quoted the American journal’s report that as many as 120,000 Americans may die in hospitals due to medical errors, and it is the 6th leading cause of death in the US which is more than the death toll from automobile deaths, AIDS, or breast cancer. He emphasized the need to move from a culture of blame to a culture of safety.

Prof Dr Luna Baig, Dean of APPNA Institute of Public Health, Jinnah Sindh Medical University, highlighted the gaps in health care needs of the country while emphasizing the importance of social accountability for the health care institutions and of early patient contact. This will help develop health care professionals who will be able to provide higher standards of safe patient care and improved patient outcomes.

The symposium was attended by healthcare professionals including deans, faculty, students and practitioners from healthcare programs of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and allied health sciences.