What are the best ways to mitigate risk in healthcare settings? Consider a focus on patient safety/satisfaction, data, and culture of the institution
Firstly, consider what the risks in health care involve. There are two main kinds: financial risks, which jeopardize the capacity for a health care setting to continue operations, and health risks, which jeopardize patient and staff safety.
Let’s firstly talk about health risks. There are a great many of specific risks, but most health care settings are most concerned about some well-known factors: infection risk and medical errors (wrong dosage, wrong prescription, accidents etc.) Hospitals being a location where many sick people tend to congregate, transmittable diseases (primarily infections) are an unfortunate side-effect. The consequences of nosicomal (hospital-derived) infections are obvious: infections being bad for the body means that patients are less likely to have good prognosis for whatever they were in the hospital for in the first place, and secondly would have to be treated for the infection. For staff, their sickness would mean that they can’t work as efficiently and carefully, and could become a vector for infectious agents to transfer to other staff and patients.
To mitigate infection risks, hospitals often have an entire department to figure out strategies to prevent infectious agents from spreading. This includes proper sanitation and quarantine of areas, people and equipment. Patients confirmed and/or known to have/have had a infectious disease are usually put in rooms where they can be isolated from other patients, to reduce infectious risks. Some airborne infections are isolated in rooms that are under negative pressure, so then all ventilation (including doors, when opened) will vent air into the room and none of it comes out. Equipment is usually one-use only and disposed of in biohazard bins, other equipment (e.g. OR) are sterilized with autoclaving (121C steaming), or chemical sterilization depending on the organism in question. All of these measures are designed to ensure that the spreading of …
The best ways to mitigate risks in health care are determined.