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Health practitioner urges effective hospital management to improve safety, reduce errors


LAGOS- Dr Efunbo Dosekun, Chief Executive Officer, Outreach Medical Services, on Thursday urged hospitals in the country to design their management systems in a way that would improve safety and reduce errors.
Dosekun told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that healthcare was highly complex and as a result it was prone to errors and had high risks.
She said that in such an environment, errors and consequent adverse events were a leading cause of death and injury and that was why safety management was required.
NAN reports that Outreach Medical Services is a group of three hospitals that deliver acute care to women and children.
“Hospital safety management is an inexpensive strategy that would improve the quality of what health workers do and would make patients and workers safe and happy,” Dosekun said.
Dosekun noted that many Nigerians were leaving the country for very simple medical interventions because they lacked faith in Nigerian hospitals.
She said that by reducing accidents through safety interventions, hospitals would restore the confidence of the populace in the capability of local hospitals.
She said that every hospital needed a safety strategy that was two pronged.
“The first prong deals with the workers, making sure their work environment is safe and ensuring that they are not exposed to any traumatising experiences.
“Patient safety is the second prong, making sure that the innocent person that has come for healthcare does not suffer any harm from the interventions and information they acquire,” Dosekun said.
She said that many hospitals undertook safety precautions on a subconscious level, adding, however, that in order to have the best impact, safety strategy must be intentionally coordinated as a hospital mechanism.
“It must become an operational policy within the hospital systems that occasionally gets reviewed for the benefit of all,” the health practitioner said.
She said that both patients and hospital staff should be cautioned against everything from physical harassment to accidental infection.
“The first step is to get hospital workers together to read up how international hospitals have established safety practices.
“Then nominate a safety officer to oversee the planning and implementation of similar safety practices.
“Make sure that the hospital board understands the importance of prioritising such an endeavour,” Dosekun said.
She said that a part of safety strategy involved changing the way medical practitioners interacted with patients.
“It is expensive to train doctors and health workers but it is something that has to be done.
“With the right training, doctors know how to take patients into confidence, let them know the risks and hazards, let them know how to prevent them.
“If you work together with the patients and carry them along, they are open and easily comply and then the room for error is greatly reduced.
“With that in place, we will step by step get our patients back from going abroad or from going to faith houses or `babalawos’ for treatment,” she said. (NAN)

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