Campaign for Promotion of Safe Surgical Practices

Thursday October 11, 2012

The United Kingdom celebrates Safer Surgery Week in September each year. National Patient Safety First Week was celebrated for the fourth year last month. The campaign started in June 2008 to ensure no avoidable deaths occur, no harm to patients occurs that can be avoided, and helps to ensure that patient safety is the top priority of the nursing staff within the NHS. Similar events could be organized in hospitals all over the United States to educate medical practitioners and nursing staff about safe medical practices that can help prevent avoidable deaths caused by medical errors.

The World Health Organization introduced the Global Patient Safety Challenge “Safe Surgery Saves Lives” in June 2008 to reduce the number of preventable operation deaths globally. The goal has been to reinforce the promise from clinical staff to adhere to proper safety standards in surgical surroundings. This includes improved safe anesthetic practices, ensuring correct surgical practices, preventing surgical site infections and breaking down communication barriers within teams. The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist is being used by all NHS Trusts in England for hospitals, so as to deliver safer surgical treatment and care.

The WHO’s Safe Surgery Saves Lives Checklist has resulted in better and more effective communication among the hospital staff and the clinical teams who utilize it. The checklist has proved beneficial in implementing safe surgery techniques to decrease patient suffering and surgical complications.

This campaign aims to help the staff improve the quality and dependability of the Five Steps to Safer Surgery that are a part of the WHO Safety Checklist. The guide is structured to be used by team members involved in the implementation of the Surgical Safety Checklist, which includes updating the doctors and theatre staff. The United States could also adopt the initiative started by WHO for better care of inpatients and for safe medical practices, as the rate of surgical errors which negatively affect American patients is simply unacceptable at present.

Source: Rochdale Online, “Safer Surgery Week,” Sept. 24, 2012

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