Patient safety must be basis of healthcare system’

By: Mai al Abria

DOHA: The two-day World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) concluded on Wednesday with the disclosure of eight reports on the eight themes of the conference this year 2015 which are; Diabetes, Mental Health and Wellbeing in Children, Universal Health Coverage, Patient Safety and Dementia.

The reports published are for the whole world’s benefit; each country to see which innovation is applicable on its environment, Dr Hanan Al Kwari, Managing Director, Hamad Medical Corporation said in a press conference on Wednesday.

A new research on how different countries can best ensure the successful implementation of innovations in healthcare was released on Wednesday at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH).

The report, “Global Diffusion of Healthcare Innovation (GDHI): Accelerating the Journey”, identifies the critical factors needed to ensure that innovations, including new technology, policies and practices, are quickly and effectively adopted across a country’s health system.

The research focussed on analysis of eight case studies from Argentina, England, Nepal, Singapore, Sweden, the United States and Zambia, where very different health innovations have been successfully and rapidly diffused and have demonstrably resulted in improved outcomes.

Another report claims health is a complex science and cites controversy, mistrust, and low health literacy as key barriers to better health. Covering case studies from Ebola, MRSA, smoking and cancer, the report looks at the need for greater education and training for those who are designing and delivering health messages.

Research used in the WISH report shows that patients in the US have lost faith in leaders of the medical profession with a sharp decline of 39 per cent between 1964 and 2012, while trust in vaccine guidance issued from governments was at a lowly 23 per cent. To date, the Ebola outbreak has place alongside a communications catastrophe — worsened by a lack of understanding, mistrust and confusion with incidences of patients leaving quarantine clinics and doctors having stones thrown at them.

244538The report stresses that improving global health is not just about providing more health services; it’s about not needing those services in the first place. Seemingly simple things like taking a full course of medicine, managing a healthy diet, maternal health awareness and cancer screening can all prevent the need for health services further down the line — saving both lives and money.

Another report highlights dementia as one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide. The report explores a wide range of dementia-related issues, including the current barriers and challenges to addressing dementia, and innovative solutions; including raising public awareness, care innovations, new financial models and more effective regulatory frameworks.

The report offers 10 key policy recommendations for governments to consider, aimed at improving both outcomes for individuals living with dementia and for economies struggling to pay for the costs of caring for dementia.

Global understanding of dementia lags behind other diseases, often mistaken as a normal part of aging. While there continues to be a social stigma surrounding dementia, the level of necessary funding will not be addressed equivalent to the need in the US funding for HIV/Aids research is more than five times the level of that for dementia research, despite the fact there are five times as many Americans with Dementia than with HIV.

A very important report on errors in patient safety shows that it rank third only to heart disease and cancer claiming 400,000 lives each year — the equivalent to two jumbo jets every day. Patient Safety is clearly a serious global public health issue and yet is often over-looked in national policy and global agendas.

Failure to address the growing concern of patient safety contributes to waste in the healthcare system and sky-rocketing costs, world leading experts said on Wednesday. It is estimated that as much as one-third of all US healthcare spending was consumed by waste in 2011. WISH’s global experts identified key issues such as a lack of regulation, understanding and integration as well as offering a range of innovative solutions that will provide recommendations to global policy makers.

“For too long in healthcare, the mind-set has been that patient harms are inevitable, that silos are natural, and that heroism rather than thoughtful design keeps patients safe” Dr Peter Pronovost, Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality clarified.

Through the work undertaken behind WISH report it is clear that what is missing is a systematic, sector-wide approach, underpinned by sound principles in safety science. In their current state, healthcare systems too often harm rather than help.

In our WISH report we advocate for a holistic system solution to eliminate preventable harm in healthcare. Patient safety is — or should be — one of the fundamental building blocks of every healthcare system”, he added.


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