For the first time in a decade, experts have issued an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality report, identifying ways to improve patient safety from preventable medical harm. The report, which was issued in March 2013 indicates that most health care organizations in the United States should be able to implement the following ten safety strategies within the next three years.
The suggested strategies include:
- Improving compliance with hand hygiene practices. Regular hand washing remains low and could significantly reduce the spread of infection.
- Using barrier precautions, such as gowns and gloves, to stop the spread of infection.
- Implementing care bundles to prevent bloodstream infections associated with central line use.
- Using real-time ultrasonography when placing central lines, in order to reduce complications and infection rates.
- Following protocols to avoid urinary tract infections associated with catheter use.
- Using preoperative checklists to reduce surgical complications.
- Using interventions to prevent venous thromboembolism prophylaxis.
- Using preventive interventions to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia.
- Avoiding using drug abbreviations so that medication errors can be prevented.
- Using multiple interventions to prevent pressure ulcers.
Some hospitals allegedly do a better job than others of currently implementing these strategies. However, experts believe that compliance with these standards and strategies is not yet universal and could make a big difference in preventing medical malpractice injuries and fatalities.
Our Louisville medical malpractice lawyers extend their best wishes for full recoveries to anyone who has been hurt by a medical mistake, and we hope that compliance with these expert-identified strategies reduces such mistakes, injuries, and deaths in the future.