Patient Safety Paramount – What Is Patient Safety and How It Works In Indian Healthcare System?

Published on: 2018/05/29

Dr. Mradul Kaushik, Director, Operations & Planning, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, India


The Indian Healthcare is on the cusp of transformation. While it is competing with the best in the world to provide quality medicare, it also has to address the realities that are unique to India.

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Patient safety, Indian healthcare system

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Patient safety can be defined as preventing errors in diagnosis or treatment and ensuring there isn’t any adverse effect on patients in relation to the healthcare provided. With the use of newer technologies, medicines and new methods of treatments, healthcare today is more complex.

Socio-economic growth, demographic change, and lifestyle have brought about a change in the life expectancy of people. The expectations from healthcare systems are increasing. With new health threats looming large, healthcare has to be ready to face the new challenges. Patient safety becomes paramount in the face of these challenges.

We need to have quality indicators in place with respect to patient safety. Quality indicators are nothing but standards put in place to keep the patient from getting harmed in the course of diagnosis or treatments. These quality indicators are centered on death, disease, disability, discomfort. and dissatisfaction.

Importance of patient safety

Patient safety is an important aspect of hospital management. It has been recognized as a matter of global importance. There are several cases worldwide of preventable harm to patients on account of unsafe medical practices and medication errors. These are usually caused by weak medication systems or by human errors of judgment, poor working conditions, staff shortages etc. These unsafe measures can lead to severe harm, disability or even death in many cases.

Safety is of utmost importance in patient care. Standardizations must be put in place to ensure that quality care is safe, patient-centric, equitable, and efficient.

Measures such as the use of simulators, bar coding, computerization, resource management etc can be used as strategies to avoid errors and improve healthcare processes. Quality care is an essential requirement in patient safety. Healthcare providers still face a number of challenges in keeping patients safe.

The six aims of ensuring quality care are:

  • Safety –ensure patients are safe and avoid any kind of injuries while treating them.
  • Effective – Use scientific knowledge to provide services to those who may benefit from it
  • Patient-centered – Proving care after understanding the needs, preferences, and values of the patient. All clinical decisions need to be taken in tandem with the patient values.
  • Timely – Reduction in delay of diagnosis or treatments and ensuring medications and tests are provided before the matter gets out of hand.
  • Efficient – Avoiding all kinds of wastes like equipment, energy or supplies.
  • Equitable – the quality of care should be provided to all without any discrimination

In spite of the progress made in the past decade, patient safety remains an important issue. This issue exists in all healthcare settings. Solutions must be made at the system levels and there should be the focus on safety culture in high-risk fields like surgery.

All healthcare agents should prioritize skills such as teamwork, communication, and accountability. Successful application of any change will depend on the leadership of organizations and the vigilance of individuals.

Read more – Patient safety paramount by Dr. Mradul Kaushik