A patient who doesn’t trust the hospital care they are given will be putting themselves and their health at risk. Yet this is happening at many hospitals across the nation. People are refusing to get proper medical treatment from hospitals because they are afraid of contracting an infection from a dirty IV catheter, getting injured in an unsafe environment or being involved in a preventable accident.
Hospitals Receive Safety Evaluations and Scores
Every year, 180,000 patients have been killed in hospital accidents, errors, injuries and infections. Hospitals across the nation have taken the issue of safety very seriously. The Hospital Safety Score, compiled by the national nonprofit organization The Leapfrog Group, evaluates preventable medical safety issues and gives each hospital in the United States a letter-based score (A, B, C, D, and F).
The lower the score, the more hazardous an environment for patients who wish to receive care. These ratings allow hospitals to make efforts to improve the overall safety to their hospital environments to protect a patient’s health. The scores are also made public, as patients can view the scores and make informed decisions on where to receive the highest quality medical care.
Lowering IV Catheter Infections
One of the biggest safety risks to patients involves IV catheters. IV catheters are used to deliver medications, nutrition and other fluids directly into the patient as the IV catheter is inserted into a large central vein. Unfortunately, infections have been on the rise with the use of these catheters that could be life-threatening to critically-ill patients.
Safety measures have been taken to reduce the risk of patient’s acquiring infections and experiencing complications. Reducing the number of microparticulates by using in-line filters, switching to polyurethane catheters instead of using Teflon catheters, and routinely changing catheters in a specified timeframe have greatly lowered the number of infections patients contract.
Proactive Hospital Safety Measures Can Regain a Patient’s Trust
By adopting safety measures to reduce the number of infections and accidents, hospitals can improve their rating scores as patients will again feel as if they can place their trust in these medical establishments. Once hospital safety increases, it will also lessen the amount of malpractice lawsuits people claim against hospitals that can cost the medical facilities thousands of dollars in legal defense and settlement procedures.
Having a safe environment will permit hospitals to concentrate on what is truly important: giving high quality health care to patients.
Adam Nix writes publications and educational articles relating to the field of hospital safety, medical practices, and other important news in the medical and health industry.
Originally posted 2013-04-23 16:54:53.