Safety in the health care industry

Health care professionals can provide proper wound care with a number of strategies.

There are a number of resources that go into providing patients with proper wound care. Not only is it important that those in the health care industry have the right kind of training, doctors and nurses also need to have well-made supplies that will help to ensure patients don't suffer from an infection or other unwanted side effect. With the alarming rate at which errors are occurring behind operating room doors, it's even more important that hospitals are equipped with the necessary tools.

One in four operating room mistakes
MedlinePlus recently released a statement indicating that technology issues are the cause of one in four operating room errors. After researchers reviewed information behind 28 different studies related to the issue, an average of 23.5 perfect of the errors were caused by either technology or equipment issues. Although these same devices have been successful in saving a number of lives, they do not come without their own concerns. Professionals who conducted the study warn against the increased rate in which this technology is failing patients rather than helping them. With nearly 16 percent of hospitalized patients laying victim to medical error, those in health care need to take all the necessary precautions available.

Leiden Operating Theatre and Intensive Care Safety (LOTICS)
Doctors at Leiden University Medical Center developed the LOTICS scale as a way to determine the cause of operating room errors. After conducting a study regarding the effectiveness of the scale in two operating rooms and intensive care units at university and teaching hospitals, they were able to conclude that LOTICS can be used to pinpoint the location of many problems. Through the use of this scale, researchers were able to quickly determine a system failure that may have interfered with patient safety.

Surgical checklists
Another observational study was conducted at University Hospitals of Geneva to determine if the items on Time Out and the Sign Out of the Surgical Safety Checklist were properly conducted by medical staff in the operating rooms. The information found that when a printed checklist was used by validated members of the department, patients benefited significantly. As a result, it was concluded that the staff should be trained on how to properly complete the surgical checklists. The more thorough the staff is with this process, the less likely there are to be issues during surgery.

Nutrition and wound care
At Queen's Hospital, it was uncovered that good nutritional status played a vital role in the proper healing of wounds. This means that protection goes beyond the proper training for surgical procedures and use of equipment, but also requires an understanding of what nutrition status is acceptable for an individual. For instance, patients need fatty acids in order for the structure of their cells to be capable of playing a necessary role in the inflammatory process. Researchers also found that patients' recoveries may benefit from high-protein diets and vitamin C. If doctors are able to detect malnutrition before it becomes a problem, they may also be successful in promoting wound healing for those individuals.

Although there are a lot of things that work together to provide a healthy environment for patients who are in the hospital, safe wound care supplies like something as simple as disposable gloves can go a long way. In order for doctors to promote healing, they need to understand the risks of using technology in the operating room and importance of completing surgical checklists. When the proper precautions are taken, professionals can help to prevent infection for occurring.

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