What is it?
Patient Safety 7 is a qualification that focuses on the patient safety within the healthcare environment within the UK. Patient Safety 7 is a response to the slipping standards of patient safety within the healthcare industry, from care homes to local surgeries to hospitals. We aim to improve standards in healthcare through education and accredited qualifications, providing simple solutions to frequent safety issues.
We aim to encourage healthcare workers to improve the safety standards of their work environment.
The impact on you
The majority of people in the UK receive successful treatment using safe practice throughout their episode of care. However, the complex nature of healthcare means that there are many areas of risk that can (and do) lead to adverse events occurring. Most of these events are minor, but some can result in extreme harm to the patient, or in the worst scenarios, death.
To counter this, we have created a course of study that prepares healthcare professionals for effective risk management. The following can help to prepare healthcare professionals to manage risk effectively:
- Actively seeking out and analysing potential risk
- reducing the likelihood of it occurring
- reporting errors
- evaluating past adverse events and near misses
- sharing information with other professionals
- working to prevent errors from occurring in the future
The seven principles of Patient Safety
- Build a safety culture
- Lead and support your staff
- Integrate your risk management activity
- Promote reporting
- Involve and communicate with patients and the public
- Learn and share safety lessons
- Implement solutions to prevent harm
Each of these steps play a crucial role in the promotion of a patient safety culture. This document will briefly explain the importance of each.
1. Build a safety culture
A safe environment is essential, so all staff should be constantly aware of the risks around them. It also means that both the staff and the organisation as a whole should be able to acknowledge when mistakes are made and how to resolve or rectify them.
2. Lead and support your staff
Building a safety culture within your organisation necessitates a strong leadership alongside an empowered staff force.
Healthcare professionals of all levels should feel free to express any concerns they have regarding the care they are providing as it could save someone’s life.
It is also important that executive staff actively demonstrate their commitment to patient safety by visibly leading patient safety improvements.
3.Integrate your risk management activity
Risk should be managed across all areas, with lessons learned being shared across departments and organisations. Integrating risk management activities assists the healthcare organisations in complying with controls assurance standards. Having a risk management team who deals with this is the most effective way to ensure that a working risk management system is in place and being routinely accessed.
4. Promote reporting
Through reporting, we can ensure that people are understanding their mistakes and that they are shared throughout and across organisations. This is the most effective way of reducing future adverse events.
If an error occurs in one part of the country, but is investigated and reported quickly and efficiently, this shared information might mean that the incident does not happen to future patients elsewhere.
Reporting also helps to create data which can be analysed for themes, trends and clusters.
5. Involve and communicate with patients and the public
The patient is the only person who is present for the whole episode of their care, as well as being the most invested in it.It is important that we encourage patients to discuss their condition and treatment, reaching the right diagnosis together with the professional.
As healthcare experts, we should strive for openness and compassion when engaging with the patients.
6. Learn and share safety lessons
Currently, a ‘culture of blame’ pervades the healthcare industry. We need to recognise that scaring staff into keeping quiet is not the solution to patient safety. Instead of looking for who we can blame when something goes wrong, we should be asking how and why the incident occurred. Therefore, the healthcare industry should implement a systematic approach of reporting, learning and sharing safety lessons.
7. Implement solutions to prevent harm
Designing safer systems is an integral part of preventing harm. We need to translate lessons learnt from prior incidents into practical long-term solutions that can be easily implemented and used consistently. These solutions should be realistic, sustainable and improvable as more data is collated. Healthcare organisations should receive any information about any discovered solutions.
Within Patient Safety 7, there are 3 levels of qualification: Foundation, Practitioner and Consultant.
Health professionals are well educated and committed to giving high quality care to patients. When an error occurs the reasons are rarely because the person who made the error is incompetent. Rather, there are many contributing factors when an error occurs, some of these factors relate to the way we as humans think and act when we are carrying out tasks (human cognition) and some relate to the complex systems that operate within healthcare organisations.
Patient safety is highly important to all aspects of the healthcare industry, including management and directors, surgeons, GPs, nurses, reception staff and cleaners, as well as the patients and their families. Providing a good health service involves a high level of attention to patient safety on all levels.
A patient safety consultant is responsible for designing and implementing the patient safety management systems within a healthcare organisation. As a matter of course, the safety consultant should have a good knowledge and understanding of the safety issues within the work environment. One of their main responsibilities is in the inspecting of workplace environments to ensure that safety codes are being complied with.
We aim to improve standards in healthcare through education and accredited qualifications, providing simple solutions to frequent safety issues. Additionally, we hope to encourage healthcare professionals to approach the concept in a new way that will not only improve the safety of their work environment, but also make day-to-day processes easier, simpler and safer.