Healthcare providers‘ practices and perceptions towards patient safety incident reporting and management in Lusaka district
Yali, Gabriel B.
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Many studies from a number of different nations around the world have consistently demonstrated unacceptably high rates of medical injury and preventable deaths. Patient safety has been, and still is, a cause for concern in health care systems all over the world. WHO is providing technical support to Member States in developing reporting systems, reducing risk, and in formulating evidence-based policies. However, research shows that patient safety and quality of care information from developing countries especially from the African region is still infrequent and limited in scope. In addition, a number of research studies in developing countries have suggested that frontline healthcare practitioners have concerns about patient safety and care, and yet most of these studies have not looked at what their views in terms of challenges are. Therefore, this study aimed at identifying health workers‘ views on barriers related to safety of patients receiving clinical care in selected health institutions in Lusaka district. In-depth, face to face interviews with frontline health care practitioners were conducted which included physicians, nurses, clinical officers, hospital managers and administrative officers. The total sample was 33 and was collected at two largest hospitals in Lusaka, one offering mental health and the other one acute health services. Participants brought out significant challenges and concerns related to patient safety that were broadly categorized into two major themes, that is, health worker-related and institutional-related challenges. These included under-reporting by health workers, under-staffing, physical environment and equipment, bed capacity inadequacy and overcrowding, and inadequate policy guidelines. Health workers highlighted a concern that most incidents or errors committed by them were going unreported or rarely reported and they felt that something should be done about it for the sake of the safety of patients. They further stated that they faced challenges in maintaining patient safety because of lack of guidelines, standardized reporting system, overcrowding of patients, poor hospital building design and staff shortages. All these factors make it challenging to maintain some safety measures for patients. In as much as patient safety is one of the priority areas in most health care systems of developing countries, reporting of incidents is not being done across the health care system. A number of factors are acting as barriers.There is a lot more that need to be done in order to improve the safety of patients in most developing countries and thus, with the current trend, patient safety incidents (PSIs) will continue harming patients receiving clinical care as long as these barriers exist. Key words: Patient Safety Incidents (PSI), World Health Organization (WHO), Healthcare providers
University of Zambia
- Medicine