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Patient Safety in Care: Involving the Patient, Empowering with Information

Importance of Involving the Patient in Promoting Safety in Care

The  patient,  the  client  and  his  or  her  signifi cant  others  must  be  involved  in  the  promotion  of  safety  in  care. The patient  has  to  be  cared  for  in  mutual understanding with him or her. The patient shall be heard and be involved in the planning and implementation of care. It is important that the patient gives the  necessary  background  information.The  patient should  be  encouraged  to  tell about his or her symptoms, hopes and concerns, as well as to ask questions relating to care.

The patient’s empowerment presupposes access to adequate information and counselling. The patient shall be given information about his or her illness and its treatment, in particular medicines, in an understandable way. The risks and expected results of treatment must be discussed with the patient.  This informa-tion must, if the patient so wishes, also be provided to a trusted person, relative 16 or signifi cant other of the patient. The patient shall also be told whom he or she may contact in issues relating to patient safety. In case an adverse event happens it must be told openly to the patient and, if he or she so wants, also to the patient’s signifi cant other.  The event and pos-sible consequences have to be discussed with them. Apologizing for the event contributes to openness.  

In a confi dential atmosphere patients have the courage and an opportunity to take up safety concerns that they have noticed.  Those will be tackled rapidly and  openly. Uniform  procedures  for  the  aftercare  of  adverse  events  help  the staff to act openly.  An analysis of the information on adverse events contributes to promoting openness.  

By the year 2013 The organisation will have procedures by means of which patients and clients can tell about the safety concerns they have observed and receive feedback on that.The organisation will have practices according to which the patients are told about risks linked with treatments. The organisation will have jointly agreed procedures for the aftercare of adverse events.The  training.Representatives of patients and patients’ organisations will be included in groups for ensuring patient safety. 

Patient safety is managed proactively and through learning Patient safety is improved by quality and risk management. There are often hid-den factors behind the patient safety incidents that should be disclosed before any adverse effects will emerge. Anticipation and analysis of different types of safety risks and intervention in them are important in the prevention of adverse events.The  possibility  of  general  adverse  events  will  diminish  when  the  organisa-tion applies good practices and policies based on research and experience that are safe and have been agreed jointly. A continuous development of structures, processes and information fl ow are essential means of reducing safety risks and the possibility of erring.  Patient safety risks are related in particular to data man-agement, organisational reforms and introduction of new technologies and new care practices. 

Familiarize yourself with patient safety related to home care. Reflect on your own as well as the organization’s activities in promoting patient safety.Reflect on theoretical knowledge and patient safety strategy Discuss how patient safety has been considered in the home care unit where you are practicing Reference requirement is at least 3 references Finnish Patient Safety Strategy 2009-2013 (compulsory)2 others are International scientific articles on patient safety.

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