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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 187-188

Patient safety

1 Department of Urology, JN Medical College, KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research, JN Medical College Campus; KLES Kidney Foundation, KLES Dr. Prabhakar Kore Hospital and M.R.C, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Urology, KLES Kidney Foundation, KLES Dr. Prabhakar Kore Hospital and M.R.C, Belagavi, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication15-Oct-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. R B Nerli
Department of Urology, JN Medical College, KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research (Deemed-to-be-University), JN Medical College Campus, Belagavi - 590 010, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_178_19

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How to cite this article:
Nerli R B, Ghagane SC. Patient safety. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res 2019;12:187-8

How to cite this URL:
Nerli R B, Ghagane SC. Patient safety. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Jul 12];12:187-8. Available from: http://www.ijournalhs.org/text.asp?2019/12/3/187/269197

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared September 17, 2019, as the first World Patient Safety Day. It is well known that, globally, over 134 million adverse events are reported every year and that they contribute to 2.6 million deaths each year due to unsafe care. In Canada alone, 28,000 deaths occur every year and patient harm ranks third in mortality after cancer and heart disease.[1] The slogan for the day is “Speak Up for Patient Safety.” This campaign is to mobilize patients and their families, health workers, policymakers, academicians, researchers, professional networks, and the healthcare industry to speak up!

Stefan Lindgren, President of the World Federation for Medical Education, stated that ”Patient safety is a core attitude and thus needs to be introduced early in medical education and then reinforced throughout postgraduate education and continuing professional development.[2] Several studies related to hospital safety and quality from around the world have consistently found problems with patient safety and quality.[3] There has been an increase in awareness of patient safety, with major efforts carried out to improve the safety of medical care. The WHO-conducted study found that millions of adverse events could be prevented so as to reduce overall morbidity and mortality.[4] A chilling statistic from the WHO showed that in high-income countries, on average, one out of every ten patients hospitalized suffered a serious, preventable adverse event.[5]

Information and knowledge regarding patient safety, provided in medical institutions, including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and dentistry, is very limited. The traditional curriculum focuses more on basic science and medical knowledge. Other health professions, including nursing, pharmacy, and health technology, maintain the primary focus on acquiring facts and knowledge. None pay sufficient attention to the key concepts, attitudes, and skills necessary for practicing safely and spurring improvements in care. The lack of basic knowledge and skills works against many of the prerequisites for safe practice. In many institutions, there is a pernicious culture of shame, blame, and punishment surrounding medical errors and a deny-and-defend stance in response to patients and families. This culture sabotages attempts at classroom education.[6] All these conditions prevent awareness, taking action, and learning from errors.

Education can definitely help to improve patient safety and healthcare quality. Curriculum related to patient safety is generally popular among trainees and has resulted in increased knowledge regarding safety and quality improvement, and this has further led to improvement in patient care processes.[7] In recent times, medical schools have begun to introduce patient safety training into the undergraduate curriculum.[8],[9] Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. instituted a 10-h curriculum for 1st-year medical students and showed improvements in knowledge and attitudes, including future commitment to patient safety.[10] This is followed by a 3-day curriculum for 2nd-year medical students, shortly before they transit from classroom to clinical wards, including lectures and hands-on experiences, which showed advances in knowledge, self-efficacy, and systems thinking.[11]

It is important to prepare the healthcare workforce to deliver safer patient care. Patient safety should be regarded as a new basic science for health professions' education. The translation of patient safety science into safe practice is also a highly applied activity. Major reforms will be needed to incorporate patient safety into the curricula of professional schools and training programs.

  References Top

Cook RI, Render M, Woods DD. Gaps in the continuity of care and progress on patient safety. BMJ 2000;320:791-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
Wu AW, Busch IM. Patient safety: A new basic science for professional education. GMS J Med Educ 2019;36:Doc21.  Back to cited text no. 2
Leape LL, Brennan TA, Laird N, Lawthers AG, Localio AR, Barnes BA, et al. The nature of adverse events in hospitalized patients. Results of the harvard medical practice study II. N Engl J Med 1991;324:377-84.  Back to cited text no. 3
Jha AK, Larizgoitia I, Audera-Lopez C, Prasopa-Plaizier N, Waters H, Bates DW, et al. The global burden of unsafe medical care: Analytic modelling of observational studies. BMJ Qual Saf 2013;22:809-15.  Back to cited text no. 4
Donaldson LJ, Fletcher MG. The WHO world alliance for patient safety: Towards the years of living less dangerously. Med J Aust 2006;184:S69-72.  Back to cited text no. 5
Fischer MA, Mazor KM, Baril J, Alper E, DeMarco D, Pugnaire M. Learning from mistakes. Factors that influence how students and residents learn from medical errors. J Gen Intern Med 2006;21:419-23.  Back to cited text no. 6
Wong BM, Etchells EE, Kuper A, Levinson W, Shojania KG. Teaching quality improvement and patient safety to trainees: A systematic review. Acad Med 2010;85:1425-39.  Back to cited text no. 7
Patey R, Flin R, Cuthbertson BH, MacDonald L, Mearns K, Cleland J, et al. Patient safety: Helping medical students understand error in healthcare. Qual Saf Health Care 2007;16:256-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
Moskowitz E, Veloski JJ, Fields SK, Nash DB. Development and evaluation of a 1-day interclerkship program for medical students on medical errors and patient safety. Am J Med Qual 2007;22:13-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
Thompson DA, Cowan J, Holzmueller C, Wu AW, Bass E, Pronovost P. Planning and implementing a systems-based patient safety curriculum in medical education. Am J Med Qual 2008;23:271-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
Aboumatar HJ, Thompson D, Wu A, Dawson P, Colbert J, Marsteller J, et al. Development and evaluation of a 3-day patient safety curriculum to advance knowledge, self-efficacy and system thinking among medical students. BMJ Qual Saf 2012;21:416-22.  Back to cited text no. 11


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