Develop open communication with patients — Medical Consultant
Health workers in the country have been urged to “patiently” engage patients in medical facilities to ensure their safety at all times.
A Quality Improvement Consultant, Dr Gilbert Buckle, said patients, mostly, had the fear of interacting with medical officials when admitted or were under treatment.
That, he said, hindered them from knowing most procedures conducted on them by the officials and communicating adequately on how they fared while being treated.
Dr Buckle gave the advice at the commemoration of the World Patient Safety Day and Quality Improvement day at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (GARH) in Accra yesterday.
He said not providing adequate information to patients affected their ability in communicating their challenges to health officials to adequately solve them, thereby causing morbidities or unwanted cases on many occasions .
Dr Buckle, therefore, encouraged medical officials to work together to create a good patient to medical official relationship in solving most patient safety challenges in health facilities.
“So, as medical officers, be clear in your mind that the patients are more concerned about their health and wellbeing than the medical officials are. So find ways to encourage them that they are at a safe space while delivering quality service to ensure that they are well taken care of,” he explained.
The Medical Director of GARH, Dr Emmanuel Srofenyoh, said hospitals mainly existed because of patients, hence patient safety was meant to be addressed as paramount in its daily operations.
He said the lack of patient safety was recorded as one of the causes of patient morbidity in hospitals as stated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Thus, as an operating health facility in the country, it was important to commemorate World Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Day to review their safety strategies and look at ways to improve on the strategies to improve on patient safety in the hospital.
Dr Srofenyoh, however, gave an assurance that the facility was committed to improving the quality of care for patients to ensure that they fully recovered from the various illnesses they checked into a facility with.
Speaking on enhancing patient’s engagement, the Deputy Chief Nursing Officer at GARH, Mavis Aggrey, said patients ought to actively seek information about their healthcare facility’s infection control policies and procedures.
“Encourage open communication between healthcare providers and patients. Patients should feel comfortable asking questions and reporting any concerns about infections”, she explained.
She noted that there was lack of support and attention paid to patient’s perspective although they had first hand knowledge of their conditions as they were at the centre of treatment process.
The Quality Assurance Manager at GARH, Sarah Ghanney, said educating patients and the community were key to patient’s safety.
She explained that effective communication between patients and healthcare providers was important in creating the enabling environment for reporting issues of safety.
Ms Ghanney said the hospital had suffered repercussions from the public when patients, who had been victims of unsafe care, reported their ordeal to the media.
She said it was for this reason that the hospital upgraded the Quality Assurance unit to Quality and Patient Safety Department in 2021 to ensure quality and safe healthcare delivery.