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Experts call for enhanced focus on patient safety

By Sola Ogundipe

IN recent times. patient safety has been at the forefront of discourse within health circles in Nigeria.

Statistics show that over 3 million patients die unneccessarily in hospitals across the world each year, and while a significant numver of these deaths occur in Nigeria, there is not enough data to quantify the actual size of the burden.

Iden

Recently, the World Health Organisation, WHO, called for improved efforts towards patient safety.

According to the Patient Safety Movement which has a mission to eliminate preventable deaths by 2020, an estimated 69,519 lives were saved in 3,526 hospitals so far in 2017.  Reports about issues of patient safety in the country continue to make the rounds.

Some of these concerns, ranging from medication errors leading to adverse drug events; mistakes in labeling; diagnostic and treatment errors amongst others have been making the rounds and   close watchers of the health sector have taken decisive steps to stem the tide.

At the maiden Patient Safety Dialogue themed: “The Enormity of These Concerns” held in Lagos by the Patient Safety Dialogue in collaboration with the Lagos State Safety Commission, participants called for an end to the menace of hospital induced infections and preventable death.

Keynote Speaker at the event, Mr Ehi Iden, observed that there is the  need to drive awareness and attention towards reducung and even eliminating the rising figures in patient harm and adverse effects in healthcare.

Iden, who is Regional Chairperson (West Africa)

Patient Safety Movement (PSM)/Occupational Health and Safety Managers, explained that Developing  patient safety is all about putting preventive care  and safe care in place to ensure that patients that come into the facility  do not leave with hospital induced infections or be victims of preventable medical errors  or even death.

“We need to start committing healthcare leaderships to this course so they can inspire a new dimension of healthcare system that is not only accountable but empathetic towards patients who seek care in their facilities.

“Let’s keep talking about ‘Just System’, the one that does not point fingers at employees or blame-game when things go wrong, but a system that takes responsibility for what goes wrong under her watch.

“We must not fail to learn from any process that went wrong, we must collectively sit together to review what we may not have done correctly and this is one of the ways we can repair our healthcare systems.

According to him, “This is not a ‘Mission’ but a ‘Movement’, we will stop at nothing until we get the assurances that patients can now go to hospitals with the trust that they will come back to their homes without further harm. This is our course in the dialogue that has just began.

“We recognise that every man is fallible, no healthcare worker leaves home with the intention to kill, but along the line, the treatment plan does not work out the way it was intended and that is what we are talking about.”


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