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India begins serious efforts to ensure patient safety- Rejoice if you are in US Obama is going to penalize hospitals with high

Posted Nov 12 2009 10:00pm

MUMBAI: A mop left inside a patient’s stomach after a surgery, an expired drug administered to an ailing person or a hospital-acquired

infection-medical errors are a nightmare for both doctors and patients. Such incidents, which are usually swept under the carpet, will now be recorded and reported to an independent body in India. This will be done in an attempt to streamline and improve the Indian healthcare system.

Indian Confederation for Healthcare Accreditation (ICHA), a non-profit organisation consisting of various associations, would spell out clear-cut healthcare standards, train employees of hospitals, nursing homes and clinics in spotting medical errors and adverse reactions as well as encourage them to report the same in order to create a database

ICHA is organizing the first Patient Safety Conference in India on November 27-29 at Delhi. India is still trying to increase the number  Adverse Event Reporting related to cliical trials and post makret surveillance. Indian community doctors and helath expert swamped with treating more ethan  hundered patients every day ( yes I mean more than Hundered, average Indian physician attemps to more than 100 patients in Indian community hospital and governments run medical colleges), has no time to report Adverse Event and Drug Safety concerns on time and effectively. This is despite the formation of a National Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance Programe supported by severl regional centres.

In United States one in five patients discharged from the hospital experiences an adverse event within three weeks. Two-thirds of those outcomes are drug-related, with many of them potentially avoidable, according to a recent report issued by an expert panel of internists, hospitalists and emergency physicians.

The Transitions of Care Consensus Policy Statement published jointly in August in the Journal of Hospital Medicine and the Journal of General Internal Medicine by the American College of Physicians, the Society of Hospital Medicine, the Society of General Internal Medicine, the American Geriatrics Society, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

The panel said hospitals and outpatient physicians should be held accountable for properly transitioning patients, coordinating care, involving family in decision-making and communicating key information in a timely fashion. The group also called for national standards and performance metrics.

It proposed that the following elements about patients should always be communicated as quickly as possible:

  • Principal diagnosis and problem list.
  • Medication list, including over-the-counter items.
  • Medical home or transferring physician or institution and contact information.
  • Patient’s cognitive status.
  • Test results and pending test results.

The recommendations come on the heels of increased scrutiny of how well doctors and hospitals prevent readmissions. President Obama has proposed bundling payments for hospitalization and care delivered within 30 days after discharge, penalizing hospitals with high one-month readmission rates. The administration says the move would save $8.4 billion and give hospitals more financial incentive to reduce the 20% 30-day readmission rate among Medicare patients.

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