Doctors’ Perception On Patient Safety

Patient safety is a global concern and is the most important domain of the healthcare system. Patient safety is about reducing unintentional risks to an acceptable level.

In India, medical error is a major patient safety concern, causing an increase in healthcare costs due to mortality, morbidity, or prolonged hospital stay.

Objective: Determining doctors perception of patient safety

A total of 153 doctors participated in the survey – Anaesthesiologist (50%), Chest physicians (15%), Radiologists (13%), OB-GYN (10%), Others (12%)

  1. When the doctors were asked which is the most common type of error they come across in healthcare delivery, 47% stated it is due to inadequate follow-up after treatment, followed by missed or delayed diagnosis (28%) and hospital-acquired infection (12%)

  2. The majority of the doctors (90%) stated that the most common type of incident is unintended i.e. skill-based error or attention failure

  3. 31% of the doctors stated that poor communication and shortage of staff (31%) are the factors due to which patient safety incidents occur, followed by inexperienced team (24%) and failure to monitor vital signs (11%)

  4. When the doctors were asked how often a hospital should investigate patient safety events, 67% stated monthly while 26% stated quarterly

  5. Most of the doctors (73%) stated that identifying failures in the management system, ensuring proper external reporting, identifying reasons for substandard performance can benefit conducting patient safety programs/investigations

  6. In our survey, most of the doctors stated that inadequate follow-up treatment is the most common type of error they come across in healthcare delivery and the most common type of incident is unintended i.e. skill-based error or due to attention failures

India still lacks a regulatory system for the control of medical errors and mandatory reporting. To ensure patient safety, HCPs must know the potential sources of errors and recognize their own susceptibilities to error.

In order to achieve optimum results regarding patient safety, the HCPs should be educated especially on standard treatment protocols on patient safety, the administrative framework of a hospital, and communication mechanisms through Continuing Medical Education (CMEs) or job training.

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