Patient Care - Patient Safety
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"Every human being has an impact on another. Why don’t we want that in a patient-doctor relationship? A doctor’s mission should be not just to prevent death but also to improve the quality of life. That’s why, you treat a disease, you win you lose, you treat a person, I guarantee you win no matter what the outcome. I’ve shared the lives of patients and staff members at the hospital, I’ve laughed with them, I’ve cried with them. This is what I want to do with my life."
- Robin Williams in Patch Adams, 1998
The concept that patients could be harmed while receiving medical care has been known for thousands of years, since Hippocrates coined the phrase "first, do no harm."
Patient safety is the absence of preventable harm to a patient during the process of health care and reduction of risk of unnecessary harm associated with health care to an acceptable minimum. The patient safety field uses the term adverse events to describe patient harm that arises as a result of medical care (rather than from the underlying disease). Important subcategories of adverse events include:
- Preventable adverse events: those due to error or failure to apply an accepted strategy for prevention;
- Ameliorable adverse events: events that, while not preventable, could have been less harmful if care had been different;
- Adverse events due to negligence: those due to care that falls below the standards expected of clinicians in the community.
As many as 1 in 4 patients are harmed whilst receiving primary and ambulatory health care.
134 million adverse events occur each year, contributing to 2.6 million deaths annually due to unsafe care.
Medication errors cost an estimated 42 billion USD annually.
- Articulate the definition and importance of patient safety.
- Recognize the vulnerability of patients and the clinician's individual responsibility to ensure their safety.
- Identify provider-, patient-, and system-based factors that may contribute to or protect from adverse events.
- List steps that you can take to reduce harm and improve the safety of patients.
Date of original release: September 6, 2019
Most recent review/update: September 6, 2019
Termination date: September 5, 2022
Alison Krueger, MSN-Ed, RN
Simulation Lab Manager, Simulation Center, Des Moines University
The speakers have no financial conflicts with commercial interest companies to disclose relevant to the content of this educational activity.
- 0.75 CE Contact Hour(s)