One in every thirteen Canadian patients faces a preventable nosocomial infection or incident. 'Safer Healthcare Now' (SHN) in Canada has been focusing on six areas which can be worked well to bring beneficial effects to patients in the hospitals. The campaign team has come up with these measures working with six hundred health professionals in more than 180 hospitals in Canada.
They are 1. Arrange rapid response teams at the first sign of patient decline. 2. Carry out reliable, evidence-based care for acute myocardial infarction to prevent deaths from heart attack. 3. Prevent adverse drug events. 4. Prevent central line infections by implementing a series of evidence-based steps to improve catheter insertion and maintenance. 5. Prevent surgical site infections by taking steps before, during and after surgery to protect patients from unnecessary infections that can prolong hospital stays. 6. Prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia protecting already vulnerable patients in intensive care units (ICU) from a life-threatening infection.
In the area of cardiac arrests, 80% of deaths occur due to nurses being hesitant to call for help. To overcome this, the help group has set up early-response teams in some ICUs to support the nurses in handling such cases.
Ventilator pneumonia is another supportive area that this group is working on. Mechanical ventilation can be an important way to support patients in the ICU but there is a risk of causing pneumonia in bed-ridden patients. To overcome this difficulty the SHN raised the head of patient's bed by thirty degrees which prevented fluid from collecting up to lungs and helped avoid pneumonia.
Medication errors were the third area that SHN looked into. Currently they are working with different groups to ensure a reliable method that permits the doctor who writes the orders to have a thorough knowledge of patient's disease history and the drugs that has been prescribed.
The subsequent step for the SHN campaign is to engage top management of hospitals and health care teams to get involved to tackle these basic problems and to spread the message to other healthcare facilities across Canada.