HOW SAFE ARE HOSPITALS IN YOUR COUNTRY?

There are currently too many deaths and life-altering injuries caused by medical mistakes.

The numbers are alarming.

In the United States, it is estimated that 250,000 people die every year as a result of medical negligence. [1]

This number is particularly unsettling when it is appreciated that if this is the situation in the U.S. that boasts the most sophisticated medical facilities manned by the most skillful medical professionals, then what would be the state of medical care in other under developed countries?

 

Painfully most of such tragic events are avoidable and can be easily prevented by mobilising stakeholders which include health professionals, patients and policy makers to work together to implement simple and inexpensive safety precautions.

Medical care providers are aware of those precautions but deliberately or inexplicably refuse or neglect to adhere to them.

 

A recent study on how safe it is to deliver a baby in hospitals in the United States by investigative reporter Allison Young of USA TODAY shows that the United States is the most dangerous country to deliver a baby in the developed world. [2]

 

Every year in the U.S., more than 50,000 mothers are severely injured during or after childbirth and 700 die. The study discovered that in California where stakeholders worked together to enhance the standard of care, the number of deaths and life-altering injuries were reduced by an impressive 50%.

 

What this shows is that medical mistakes are preventable. It demonstrates that reducing by half the number of deaths caused by this menace is achievable. It also indicates that to entrench life-saving safety measures in hospitals, you must improve the standard of care within the jurisdiction.

 

To improve the standard of care, you must understand the factors that contribute to its enhancement. One logical way to do that would be to identify standard of care enhancement indicators, measure their compliance in different countries / jurisdictions and use that to arrive at the standard of care rating. The rating will show how safe hospitals in that country/ jurisdiction are. That knowledge can be used to focus attention on what needs to be done to save lives and protect patients from life-altering injuries.

 

To reduce by half by the year 2022, the number of deaths and life-altering injuries caused by medical mistakes in the world

To identify standard of care enhancement indicators.

To promote the implementation of measures that enhance the standard of care

The result of the study would arm policy makers to make informed decisions on health and health related issues especially how to enhance the standard of care within each jurisdiction.

It would allow health advocacy groups in the health sector to gain more understanding of the challenges and factors that erode the delivery of quality medical care.

 

It would motivate stakeholders to be more committed to enhancing the standard of care within their jurisdiction by adopting measures that would prevent medical mistakes.

 

It would trigger a robust debate on the challenges of health care delivery and deepen the understanding of the subject.

Additionally, It would develop a uniform International standard of care rating for countries.

[1] Makary, M. A., & Daniel, M. (2016). Medical error-the third leading cause of death in the US. BMJ (Online), 353, [i2139]. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.i2139

 

[2] Alison Young, ‘’ Deadly deliveries’’ USA TODAY online, www.usatoday.com. DOI 7/26/2018. 12.59 pm

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