When an individual gets seek, the best place to seek medication is the hospital. He expects to receive the highest level of care from the doctors and nurses. Therefore it is the responsibility of the medical practitioner is to serve the patient diligently. They are obliged to exercise caution while handling the patient’s condition. In every country, medical practitioners are accreditated to serve by a mandated commission, formed within the international medical standards. An overall body is commissioned to harmonize the views of all practitioners on modalities to serve the patients to their satisfaction.
The Joint Commission, a non-profit organization established the national patient safety goals (NPSG) in 2002 and were effective the following year. This occurred after wide consultations from the patient safety advisory board. The board is composed of pharmacists, nurses, clinical engineers, pharmacists, risk managers and other stakeholders. The National patient safety goals are guidelines that very practitioner should follow while handling patients.
The seventh goal of the national patient safety goal focused on reducing the risk of health care related infections. This resulted from the high number of patients who claimed to have contracted infections from the hospital while receiving treatment.
What is the Current institutional policy on the goal?
This goal is categorized into three segments. The segments include;
NPSG.07.01.01: Hand Hygiene guidelines
This goal requires all health practitioners to comply with the standards set by the center for disease Control and prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).According to the center for disease control and prevention experts, every year there is a considerable number of patients who report to have acquired an infection while receiving treatment from a health practitioner. The source could be from health care staffs who handle multiple patients without washing their hands. The World health Organization suggests that the best channel to address the issue is to improve the hand hygiene of health care staff. The WHO formulated four ranks for assessing the success rate.
IA: strongly recommended for implementation and supported by experimental clinical and epidemiological findings
IB: strongly supported for implementation by clinical, epidemiological and experimental findings and theoretical way of thinking
IC: to be implemented as authorized by federal regulation standards
II: suggested for implementation and support by clinical, epidemiological studies or theoretical rationality. Further a consensus by experts could support giving findings such a rank.
NPSG 07.03.01: Prevent Health care associated infections due to multiple drug resistant organisms
This goal assessed that the size of population reported to have acquired health associated infections differed between hospitals. It is the responsibility of the health management to conduct periodic assessments to find out about the rate at which health associated infections are reported. According to the WHO standards, health practitioners should educate the patients and their families who have contacted the multi-drug resistant organism .This enhances protective measures by the patients and thee health staff.
NPSG07.06.01: Prevent catheter –associated Urinary tract infections (CAUTI)
This goal requires health facilities to implement the findings based on evidence. This goal is not based on pediatrics. The catheters should be inserted in such a way that the urinary system is at ease to allow urine flow. Further the urine collection system should be replaced when it’s due. Samples should be collected for assessing and making findings. The population that uses indwelling catheters should form the sample population.
Who is Involved In meeting PSG 7?
How is the staff being educated regarding PSG7?
W.H.O recommends that all health staff should undergo periodical training on safety standards. They should also be informed on the new development especially the emergence of the multi-drug resistant organism. The staff should be advised on the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).According to W.H.O; hand washing is not a guarantee of germs elimination. The method of washing and the quality of disinfectant used matters. For instance pathogens may stick to the patient’s beddings and eventually transferred to the health practitioners.
The Center for disease control and prevention (CDC) recommends that Health care personnel should not wear artificial nails. The natural nails should be one quarter inch long. This is cautioned especially while handling patients at high risk of acquiring infections .For example patients at Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and those who undergo organ transplant.
How is the success rate being measured?
The W.H.O recommends three methods of assessing the performance of this goal. These methods include direct observation, product use counting and sample survey. Direct observation method since practitioners will act diligently. Moreover, use of products is not a guarantee that the product was used appropriately to deliver desired results.
Therefore, sampling of patient is one of the best methods of surveying the performance rate of the goal. It should be done periodically to get the changes. The WHO and the CDC suggests a ranking system used to tell the level of performance.
What are the benefits of attaining this PSG 7?
This goal has reduced the rate of health staff negligence while handling patients. Moreover, the physicians are more alert while assessing patient’s health status by checking presence of nay multi-drug resistant organism.
Two ways in which PSG7 is being implemented in the clinical settings
Use of disinfectant
All health officers are required to wash all equipments using a certified disinfetergent. Further they are required to wash their hands whenever the handle a patient and before they serve the other one. Recommended disinfectant should be applied and if there is none, warm water with soap should be used. To exercise caution, every disinfectant should be tested to ensure it does not carry chemicals that may affect the patient’s health.
Frequent tests on patients and staff
All staff undergoes periodic testing to determine their health status as a way of cautioning the patients against health associated infections. Patients also undergo testing to determine presence of health associated infections.
In my opinion, physicians should be allocated to specific patients. This will ensure constant observation of health changes of the patient. These changes could be easily attributed to the health staff conduct while handling the patient. If negligence is realized action could be taken against the offender to caution others.
At bed- shifts of practitioners
Further, I would recommend at bed shifts of practitioners whereby the on duty practitioner should hand over the patient to another patient in the presence of the patient .This ensures that transparency is observed and the patient is aware who took over from whom. This will protect against ill-motive of practitioners and enhance transparency and accountability.