Despite substantial patient safety progress in the past two decades, current statistics show that medical harm is the leading cause of mortality globally. In fact, The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 133 million medical harm cases occur annually because of unsafe patient care in healthcare facilities in developing and low-income countries, leading to up to 2.6 million deaths. Additionally, it is estimated that about 40 percent of patients are subjected to harm in primary and ambulatory care premises, with up to 80 percent of these deaths being preventable.
If that isn’t enough to raise red flags about the current global patient safety crisis, research studies show that up to 400,000 deaths happen in the US yearly because of preventable harm or errors. And while not all patient safety cases lead to death, many can cause long-term effects on the patient's financial well-being, emotional health, and physical health.
It is therefore detrimental to curb this harm within healthcare settings, as patient safety is becoming a critical concern of the public health sector. With the dire healthcare staffing numbers plaguing hospitals and healthcare centers across the nation, Nursa™ can help increase the registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), and certified nursing assistant (CNA) staffing to patient ratio, ensuring that there are enough nurses and caregivers to consistently monitor a patient, and compassionately attend their needs at their bedside.
Why is Patient Safety Important?
The importance of patient safety is relative to a variety of factors, including the quality of care provided by registered nurses. Many RNs are often a consistent presence at the bedside of patients. They serve as the connective thread between physicians, pharmacists, family, and will interact with all members of the healthcare team.
That’s why it’s crucial to have a robust nurse-to-patient ratio. Unfortunately, staffing nursing ratios and burnout are commonplace in many medical institutions across the country, making it difficult for nurses to prioritize the safety of patients on any given day.
Fortunately, campaigns such as The Patient Safety Awareness Week (PSAW) which is held annually in the third week of March, and according to the Agency For Healthcare and Research Quality, “help to bring together and engage healthcare professionals and patients to make care safer.”
What is National Patient Safety Awareness Week?
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) facilitates this critical patient safety drive. During this time, healthcare systems and hospitals prioritize the safety of patients each day of the week. It is an opportunity for these health systems to illustrate their patient safety resources and their commitment to providing a safe medical environment. PSAW acts as a dedicated avenue for increasing patient safety awareness and the improvement of patient safety that is already ongoing.
Patient Safety Concerns During The Covid-19 Pandemic
Patient safety is a complex healthcare discipline that has emerged in healthcare because of the rise in patient harm in hospitals. The goal of fostering patient safety within health institutions, therefore, is to reduce harm, errors, and risks to the sick during healthcare provision. The premise of patient safety is a continuous improvement as a result of learning from adverse outcomes and errors.
One notorious outcome that led to the significant room for improvement within the patient safety sector, was due to nurse burnout, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, Covid-19 caused abrupt changes in how healthcare services are offered in different settings, especially in hospital inpatient units and emergency departments. This was more evident during virus peak times, which demanded alterations in resources' reallocation because patients needed to isolate patients with suspected or known COVID-19 virus. As a result, this significantly increased the use of medical devices, such as catheters and ventilators. Additionally, considerable patient safety issues were linked to unsafe nurse staffing ratios during the early pandemic phase.
While the COVID-19 pandemic painted a grim outlook within the healthcare system during the past two National Patient Safety Awareness Weeks, this won't be the case this year as COVID-19 cases are beginning to decline. This week, healthcare personnel seek to ensure that patients are well-catered to and committed to making sure that patients get the compassionate and professional care they deserve.
How Nursa™ Can Offset Nursing Staffing Ratios And Reduce Patient Harm
During Patient Safety Awareness Week, nurses from all over the globe will strive for substantial patient safety improvement, including relative education measures. These measures may include teaching the patients to adhere to a post-discharge care routine, entailing occupational therapy, medical regimens, and wound care management. Educating patients on such post-discharge care measures is an easy but effective way to enhance patient safety. There are many ways that healthcare facilities can ensure that successful patient safety strategies are implemented, such as formulating clear policies and hiring skilled healthcare professionals. Even more, is that technology-supported apps like Nursa™ can help offset staffing shortages by enabling hospitals to hire per diem clinicians in real-time.
Apps like Nursa™, help connect registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to healthcare facilities to pick up per diem jobs. Furthermore, our app ensures that nurse-to-patient ratio issues are sorted to enable nurses to prioritize patient safety and provide the best care. Using apps to help narrow the nurse-to-patient gap ratio is vital to enhance a patient's monitoring, which will help to identify a patient's complications in a timely manner. For example, continuous monitoring will prompt identification and understanding of wound progression, fall risk, and other bedside conditions. In addition, monitoring entails the provision of well-lighted rooms and call lights to patients. Moreover, increasing nurse-to-patient numbers can help the patient take the necessary precautions, including fall risk precautions.
Patient safety is vital in delivering quality healthcare services, and most medical professionals will agree that the best healthcare is patient-centered and safe. Additionally, healthcare services should be efficient, integrated, equitable, and timely. That’s why Nursa™ is a critical component in ensuring patient safety during PSAW awareness week. Nursa™, can fill short-term staffing shifts fast, and provide healthcare facilities with nurses ready to work. Make sure your hospital is adequately prepared with a safe nursing staffing ratio by downloading Nursa™ and connecting with hundreds of nurses, aides, and clinicians looking for per diem jobs nearby.