Health authorities in UAE to empower patients by involving them in patient safety

patient safety

Educating patients and including them in their safety promotes awareness and better health standards

Dubai, UAE: Health authorities in the UAE encourage further education and involvement of patients and their families in treatment plans resulting in better health outcomes. The principle of actively involving patients and their families in safety is of growing importance due to the current lack of trust between the patient and the clinicians.

There are many benefits to involving patients in their treatment plans and educating them on patient safety. It helps health practitioners devise a more suited treatment plan and the ability to diagnose symptoms more accurately. Educating patients will also equip them with the ability to administer treatment with precision and to take appropriate action if any complications or adverse effects occur.

“Involving patients in their own care is one of HAAD safety goals, and the focus of SKMC, as the patient is the organisation’s priority. To achieve active patient involvement in their own care and safety, SKMC management and staff have been promoting this concept over the past few years. Many educational campaigns have been implemented to encourage and empower patients to actively take part of their own care and to collaborate with quality improvement teams in hospitals and healthcare institutions,” says Ms Safa Al Mustafa, Acting Chief Nursing Officer, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Ms Al Mustafa will deliberate on the different components of educating and encouraging patients to participate in their treatment process and safety at the Patient Safety Middle East Exhibition & Conferences on the 4-6 October 2015 in Dubai. The event will be held at the Dubai International Exhibition & Convention Centre, Dubai, UAE.

“Patients are empowered to participate in their own care and safety monitoring, through provision of diagnostic information, participation in treatment decisions, choice of healthcare provider, the management and treatment of disease, and the monitoring of adverse events,” highlighted Ms Al Mustafa.

Organisations must prioritise engaging patient representatives in the design and nurturing of safety efforts, and emphasise transparency in reporting errors and care problems. Efforts to engage patients in safety practices should focus on three areas: empowering patients to detect adverse occurrences, empowering patients to ensure safe care, and involving patients and families in improving the culture of safety.

“SKMC routinely conducts surveys to gauge patient satisfaction. These surveys are another way of finding out about patients perceptions of quality and safety in the organisation. Additionally, the use of electronic medical records in SKMC is an opportunity to further engage patients in safety efforts,” concluded Ms Al Mustafa.

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