Ireland's Patient Safety Strategy Commitments

September 16, 2020 RLDatix Marketing

In the UK, it’s estimated that 5.2% of adverse events result in patient death. Additionally, 17% of all hospitalisations in the UK are affected by one or more adverse events, with 30-70% potentially preventable.

Back in December 2019, Ireland Health Minister Simon Harris helped push through the patient safety bill to counteract the above stats, but now it’s time to look at the midterm implications this will have on Irish healthcare through the Patient Safety Strategy 2019 – 2024. 

We ask the questions:

· Why is it so important to have the right systems in place to help you meet and excel in the six commitments to patient safety in Ireland?

· What difference does an experienced patient safety provider make to an organisation or hospital group focusing on the HSE Patient Safety Strategy?    

Understanding the vast complexities of patient safety is especially important to help the fight against harm in Irish healthcare environments, with 1 in 8 patients being harmed in acute hospital settings, adversely affecting the ability to care for patients and staff due to the cost of clinical claims and other costs associated with treating safety failures (EURO 1,391.8 million from 2010 – 2018 in Irish healthcare alone). The six commitments have been built to make sure that there is a common goal to reduce harm across the healthcare sector.

The commitments include: 

1. Empower and Engage Patients to Improve Patient Safety 

2. Empower Staff to Improve Patient Safety 

3. Anticipate and Respond to risks to Patient Safety 

4. Reduce Common Causes of Harm 

5. Measure and Learn to Improve Patient Safety 

6. Provide effective Leadership and Governance to Improve Patient Safety  

What steps can you put in place to establish the right culture and improve patient outcomes? 

1. Empower and Engage Patients to Improve Patient Safety 
It can be challenging to get patients involved in patient safety initiatives because it is difficult to amass the right data to support changes from feedback. The right patient safety software can capture all types of feedback to provide an overall snapshot of key themes that are affecting patients. Easy to fill in surveys can support the next step towards improved outcomes. This helps support patient safety through capturing ideas and ways to improve a service with technology. Finally, the Communication and Optimal Resolution (CANDOR) approach helps support staff in adopting empathic and supportive communication with patients and families following an adverse event. This approach also aims to help reduce legal costs that can be associated with poor communication surrounding a harmful event.  

2. Empower Staff to Improve Patient Safety 
A crucial element to patient safety involves supporting staff, either through their day to day activities or emotional support if something does go wrong. Helping staff to feel empowered to speak up through online forms that allow them to highlight system weaknesses in their organisation is key. The CANDOR approach outlines 7 pillars of patient safety including “Care for the Caregiver” program which helps support staff as they seek emotional first aid, a sense of well-being and morale. When staff feel like they are in a safe place, listened to and supported in their daily work, this can drastically improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. 

3. Anticipate and Respond to risks to Patient Safety 
An advanced enterprise risk management tool helps organisations be proactive about the risks they face in their healthcare environment. Actions and recommendations within the software support the timely response to any risks ensuring that the organisation have the right controls in place to provide high performing and safe care. Evidence can be seamlessly attached to each risk and any new incidents, feedback, mortalities or claims can be automatically related to each risk record to provide real-time insights. 

4. Reduce Common Causes of Harm 
Starting with what has gone wrong and what is causing harm is the first step. Next, integrating easy to use web forms into the daily work practices of healthcare professionals will ensure that organisations have a finger on the pulse regarding the trends and themes of near miss, no harm events and harm events. Staff can be alerted when thresholds are breached, reports are sent directly to their inbox every week and hospital groups can take a deep dive into the causes of harm through a sophisticated business intelligence tool. Once an organisation has this information, the board, managers and staff can tweak and change practices across their organisation to reduce all types of harm. 

5. Using information to Improve Patient Safety 
A patient safety software built specifically for healthcare helps ensures the tools available are structured to help healthcare professionals track and identify why events have occurred and implement recommendations and controls to improve patient safety. Integrating a safety learnings module helps organisations in their efforts to create an open learning culture, supporting the sharing of key learning themes and areas of excellence that are commonly found in Irish healthcare today.  

6. Provide effective Leadership and Governance to Improve Patient Safety 
Join over 3500 organisations worldwide that depend on RLDatix to provide the insights and evidence that patient safety is part of their culture and not just a priority. Leaders rely on RLDatix to provide timely reports, assurances and most importantly a structure to help improve services that embody an open and just culture. RLDatix is a tool that highly reliable organisations with effective leaders trust to support frontline staff and provide patients with an excellent care experience. 

Each of these six commitments serves as an important role in supporting patient safety across healthcare organisations in Ireland. RLDatix empowers healthcare providers to align their daily care efforts with these commitments to better serve staff and patients. From providing easy to use, customisable forms that capture event data to equipping organisations with the tools they need to care for frontline staff, patients and their families. RLDatix offers comprehensive tools to support patient safety at every level.  

Learn how RLDatix can support your organisation’s patient safety efforts 

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