Patient safety, the prime priority

39-Pavan-Mocherla Pavan Mocherla

Studies show that among 100 patients at any given time, seven in developed and 10 in developing countries will get at least one health care-associated infection. Therapeutic errors, incorrect diagnosis, counterfeit drugs, unsafe injection practices—the threats to patient safety are many.

Even as India inches towards the dream of accessible and affordable health care, patient safety continues to be a challenge. The national patients safety implementation framework (NPSIF) for 2018-2025 says that there is minimal funding on patient safety research. From the absence of a systematic method of training nurses to the lack of specialised skill sets in health care, the scarcity of resources is a barrier towards mitigating risks of unsafe care.

To address these gaps, Becton Dickinson partnered with the Joint Commission International for Patient Safety to develop a gold standard safety programme called PRIME (preventing risks of infections and medication errors in IV therapy) in South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and India.

PRIME marks a significant step in the direction of upgrading quality standards in a health care setting. It is structured to enable implementation of standard practices at bedside, with an enhanced awareness of preventable harm, through the process of IV therapy. This programme has a multi-pronged strategy for awareness, assessment, continuous updates through webinars, consultation sessions, evaluation and certification.

PRIME content consists of medication preparation, initiation of therapy, medication administration, maintenance of vascular lines, surveillance of health care-associated infections and incidence reporting. Working with a unique approach towards patient safety, we believe PRIME has the potential to accelerate the delivery of quality care in India.

The initiative sets an important milestone in patient care in India. Upon completion of the programme, hospitals will be certified to deliver quality care interwoven with patient safety. BD is working with hospitals such as Belle Vue Clinic Kolkata, Fortis Anandapur and Mohali, Breach Candy Mumbai, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai, KIMS Thiruvananthapuram, Kasturba Hospital Manipal, Max Healthcare Saket and Medanta-The Medicity, Gurugram.

In a country with rationed public health care and lack of data on the root causes of unsafe patient care, the understanding of a “patient safety culture” is limited. With PRIME as a vehicle to address the fundamental gaps in patient safety, we want to create safety champions in all clinical areas across hospitals.

Mocherla is managing director of Becton Dickinson, India and South Asia.