Article for World Patients Safety Day 17th September 2022
Health care in India still needs to improve in terms of patient safety: V.S.Sudheer –CEO MaxiVision Super Specialty eye hospitals group
We have heard a lot about fire disasters in hospitals. This is one very painful and traumatic accident in any hospital. It is very difficult to evacuate and take patients to safety during such accidents when every person will focus on their own safety and immobile and bedridden patients are the ones who take the casualties. Though there are a lot of fire safety compliances to starting a hospital, a lot of deviations happen in this country due to real estate availability and costs. It is important to make health care providers comply to fire safety norms. Authorities should relax costs and norms to encourage every service provider to implement the protocols. Regular fire safety drills should be mandatory for Fire authorities as well as the hospital administration.
All health care service providers want to provide the best treatment possible with the best results. Medical and diagnostic equipment has reached far ahead in technology and today lot treatments are technology dependent and results also vary depending on technology. Best treatments are that which reduces post operative recovery period and give patients less pain and dependency. Lesser recovery period reduces risk of post operative infections. But best medical technology still comes at large costs and remains with select few large hospitals. Subsidising costs of critical care equipments will encourage doctors to invest on these and also to me make treatments affordable to all economic segments.
Patient safety is still a lot to improve in the Indian health care segment and much has changed in the last decade. Awareness of prioritizing safety itself has penetrated a lot which is a good beginning. But a lot more to go Patient safety norms differ according to the size and type of services. From a small nursing home to large multispecialty hospital, from a General Physician to a Neuro Surgery Specialty, from day care to tertiary care patient safety norms and protocols are different. But approach to this protocol should be sacrosanct.
Many of the hospitals just meet the basic compliances in patient safety enough to obtain approval to operate and ignore once they get the approvals. Instead, every health care provider should ensure that critical patient safety measures are in place irrespective of statutory compliances. In project stage itself, with minor investments build safety norms like, fire alarms, firefighting. Also conduct regular fire drills. Keep the hospitals clean with disinfectants and sterilisers regularly. Do not compromise quality of surgical instruments, intra op drugs and linens.
Any investments is not high if hospitals focus on patient safety norms and avoid a catastrophe in future.