Accurately identifying you, administering good medication and providing good care, preventing injuries, falls or getting an infection: it is your security! A priority for Saint-Luc!
Each stage of care involves a certain risk. Risk minimization can be achieved thanks to systematic actions (for example, checking patient’s identity before any treatment) and the respect of essential procedures throughout the hospitalization process.
To raise awareness among the care team but also among patients and visitors, a campaign focusing on 5 vigilance key points has been launched. The aim of this security approach: making sure that the right treatment is given to the right person, at the right time, with the right equipment, while minimizing the risks involved.
1. Accurately identifying every patient
Patient identification (identito-vigilance, in French) consists of ensuring, at any time, that the patient is well identified in order to exclude every risk related to misidentification. This is possible by means of an identification wristband given to every patient hospitalized or going to his/her appointment and regularly asking his/her date of birth, name and surname.
2. Preventing and controlling infections
An infection is an adverse event which might happen during any treatment. If some of these infections only affect patients whose health has deteriorated, everything must be done to avoid them. Vigilance focus on six topics: hand disinfection, prevention of transmission of multidrug-resistant bacteria, prevention of central venous tract sepsis, prevention of infections of the surgical site or urinary tract infections, and proper disposal of cutting and sharp material.
3. Protecting patients with specific needs
Preventing falls, pressure sores, deep vein thrombosis, etc. The security of more frail patients or patients with specific needs must be taken into consideration. Particular attention is also paid to the risk of an allergy and patients with visual or hearing disability.
The creation of a specific wristband will allow us to easily identify those specificities and ensure even more the safety of those patients. Some other tools (such as non-slip socks or a fall prevention system) will supplement this arsenal.
4. Safely administering medication
Such vigilance consists of ensuring that each medication is accurately prepared, labelled, identified and administered. High risk medicines receive a particular extra care. One of the recommendations to reduce medication errors and harm is to use the “five rights”: the right patient, the right drug, the right dose, the right route, and the right time, according to the medical prescription.
5. Reporting any adverse event
A potentially harmful and involuntary event might occur during hospitalization: this is an adverse event. Any adverse event must be scrutinized by both the patient and the quality team. Implementing corrective and preventive actions reduces the risk of a similar event happening again.