COVID-19 epidemic has not been controlled globally. Until now, despite of facing with many changes, Vietnam is still on the list of countries that prevented COVID-19 successfully. However, there is another epidemic has been happened quietly around the world for many years. William Hoyer (the author of America’s Secret Pandemic) also named it “The Secret Pandemic”.
From the concern for patient safety
The “Secret Pandemic” is the accidents and incidents that occur due to medical errors which can be prevented. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the rate of death which is caused by healthcare is 1/300 while the death rate from flight is only 1/3,000,000.
On the World Patient Safety Day (September 17, 2019), WHO reminded the importance of this issue. Serious incidents from unsafe medical care was one of the reason leading to death and disability in the world:
- In high-income countries, it is estimated that one in every 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care. 4 out of 10 patients are harmed in the primary and ambulatory care setting. The harm can be caused by a range of adverse events, with nearly 50% of them being preventable.
- Each year, 134 million adverse events occur in hospitals in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), due to unsafe care, resulting in 2.6 million deaths.
- Globally, as many as 4 in 10 patients are harmed in primary and outpatient health care. Up to 80% of harm is preventable. The most detrimental errors are related to diagnosis, prescription and the use of medicines.
- The financial burden of medication errors estimated at 42 billion USD annually.
The publication of IOM, “To Err is Human”, two decades ago revolutionised and influenced many institutions to initiate programs to address patient safety. However, despite the numerous activities formulated by patient safety organisations, national or local government regulatory bodies, accreditation and organisations grading hospitals in terms of safety; errors causing harm to patients are still very alarming.
To the effort of all teams
The airline industry has made significant improvement on aviation safety not just by formulating safety practices such as the use of checklists and establishing the root causes from adverse events but also by regulating and monitoring air transport providers. The healthcare industry should apply this principle of learning, engaging and monitoring health institutions to comply with patient safety standards of practices.
FV Hospital, with the approval and support of our CEO, has been working with the Patient Safety Movement Foundation (PSM), a nonprofit organisation based in the United States whose aim is basically to reduce preventable harm worldwide. The model of PSM is through learning, engaging and monitoring health institutions which are committed to the project ZERO harm.
PSM has formulated the Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) which are based from best practices and scientific evidence that if followed can significantly reduce harm. FV Hospital has been doing a number of APSS similar to our protocols such as the Surgical Safety Checklist and the bundles of care for Hospital Acquired Infections. However, the lists of preventable errors that can happen in healthcare are many. If we are to adapt and implement these APSS, we can then be assured that the likelihood for these errors to occur will be nil, thus, PSM battle cry of ZERO harm!
This will be the first hospital wide project of the Patient Quality of Care Task Force. With the aim to prevent the harm (can be prevented) at hospital. All FV’s staff will put their effort to improve the process. To be the leading provider of quality healthcare service, FV Hospital has responsibility to improve continually, to bring the safety for patients as well as for all the FV’s staff.