Sani Nudge

Patient Safety Culture in OECD countries – still a lot of room for improvement

patient safety

Promoting a work climate in healthcare that emphasizes patient safety is a trending priority and serious focus of current organizational environments. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought up new safety concerns which have made patient safety a significant priority for many countries. 

Patient safety culture is defined by the European Society for Quality in Healthcare as “a pattern of individual and organizational behavior, based upon shared beliefs and values that continuously seeks to minimize patient harm, which may result from the process of care delivery”. (1)

For hospitals and nursing homes in Europe, patient care and safety is a priority at the core of their delivery and motivation, but a challenge in execution due to strenuous working hours, timely commitments to administrative tasks, and overall shortages of staff. 

In an article titled Developing international benchmarks of patient safety culture in hospital care: Findings of the OECD patient safety culture pilot data collection and considerations for future work, a culture of safety is addressed as the foundation to improve care. It is shared that patient harm is estimated to be the 14th leading contributor to the global disease burden, with low- and middle-income countries bearing over half of the burden. (2)

Moreover, one of the key points of this report states that:
“Only one-in-two health care workers believe that their hospital  management provides a work climate that promotes patient safety and shows that patient safety is a top priority (50%) or that staff can freely speak to colleagues and authority about patient safety issues in their work setting (52%).”(3)

To improve patient safety culture, hospitals can benefit from the direct linkages between the safety culture and other critical measures including health worker safety, patient-reported safety experiences and health worker resilience.  Incorporating automations and technology integration can provide far-reaching benefits.

For instance, when it comes to hand hygiene improvement, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) pose a huge burden on hospitals and patient safety. Although these infections are largely preventable, they affect hundreds of millions of patients worldwide, which leads to increased mortality and financial loses for healthcare systems. 

Nevertheless, old-fashioned and time-consuming methods of observation, such as direct observation, are still administered.  Automated technology like the introduction of Hand Hygiene Compliance Monitoring Systems is proven to reduce HAIs in a healthcare setting, shifting the burden of observation resources to proven technological solutions. 

For example, during an interventional study in a nephrology department at Kolding hospital, the hand hygiene compliance of the doctors and nurses improved significantly during the intervention phase when they received group and individual feedback based on actionable insights from the electronic hand hygiene monitoring system.  This improvement in hand hygiene was in turn associated with a significant reduction in the number of hospital-acquired bloodstream infections.

Technology and modern medicine have been running a parallel but not synonymous course for history but when rooted together have outlasting benefits. As the article states, we still have a lot of room for improvement but it starts with leaders making value-based decisions and investments for the betterment of patient care.

If you want to know more about the ways to increase hand hygiene compliance and empower sustainable behaviour change in your organization, book a live demo with Sani Nudge.

 

Clinical studies and validations of Sani Nudge show that hospitals can achieve significant improvements in their facilities in any hand hygiene situation. We provide the tools, data and framework conditions and you celebrate success!

References 

  1.  Kristensen, S. and P. Bartels (2010), Use of Patient Safety Culture Instruments and Recommendations Use of Patient Safety Culture Instruments and Recommendations Use of Patient Safety Culture Instruments and Recommendations 2 Content, http://www.esqh.net (accessed on 28 June 2019).
  2.  Jha, A. and A. Epstein (2010), “Hospital governance and the quality of care”, Health Affairs, http://dx.doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0297
  3.  ​​de Bienassis, K. and N. Klazinga (2022), “Developing international benchmarks of patient safety culture in hospital care: Findings of the OECD patient safety culture pilot data collection and considerations for future work”, OECD Health Working Papers, No. 134, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/95ae65a3-en.

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