Here at Medxcel, we pride ourselves in maintaining a safe environment for all of our patients, visitors and staff. We work to continuously prioritize patient safety each and every day of the year. While safety is always top of mind, the World Health Organization states that an estimated 134 million adverse events occur every year due to unsafe care in low- and mid-income countries. In high-income countries, such as the United States, it is estimated that 1 in 10 patients are harmed while receiving hospital care. Of these, nearly 50% are considered preventable.
In our facilities, safety and emergency management operations are fully integrated into daily facilities management and compliance. By ensuring patient safety through an environment of care, we are able to provide functional facilities that exceed safety standards. Considering all possible risks to patient safety, such as the three we’ve outlined below, is crucial to preventing harm that could impact your patients and staff.
Ligature and suicide risks.
Patient suicide is a risk that is vital to address in any healthcare facility. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety
reported that 49 to 65 suicides happen annually in inpatient hospital facilities in the U.S, with the majority being in psychiatric inpatients. Reducing self-harm in healthcare environments involves closely surveying ligatures that can pose potential risks for hanging or choking. Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
surveyors ensure hospitals are compliant to TJC recommendations by developing plans to eliminate identified ligature risks.
By assessing each patient’s individual risk for suicide or self-harm, healthcare staff can intervene appropriately. Leadership and staff should be always aware of any risks, ligature points and potential weapons in the facility or a patient’s room Properly training staff to identify risks and take immediate action minimizes opportunities for self-harm and ultimately saves lives.
Infectious disease threats.
Medxcel works proactively to create emergency management plans for infectious diseases. The flu season is now declining, with the CDC reporting an estimated 38 million cases, 390,000 hospitalizations and 23,000 deaths from the flu
. However, the Coronavirus (COVID-19), has over 500,000 confirmed cases
of at the time of writing, so it’s essential that all Medxcel facilities are prepared to treat and prevent an unexpected outbreak.
Protecting patients and employees from infectious diseases is a top concern for Medxcel. Facility managers work to contain epidemic risks by following protocol and quickly identifying at-risk patients to treat them in separated units. Medxcel also encourages patients and staff to uphold sanitary regulations, such as properly washing hands and covering coughs or sneezes.
Active shooter incidents.
Active shooter incidents are unpredictable, and that’s what makes them so dangerous. It’s vital that healthcare facilities have a plan in place to manage the incident before law enforcement officials arrive. Evacuating patients can present a challenge as many patients have difficulty walking or running due to age, illness or medical condition. All Medxcel facilities have active shooter plans that outline how to effectively lock down patients, visitors and staff to keep them safe. Emergency escape routes are included in the plan, including alternative secondary and tertiary routes if the primary route is unusable.
Planning for every possible scenario is key to keeping patients safe from harm. Each and every day, we recognize and support the efforts of our facility managers working to improve patient safety.