Patient Safety Awareness Week 2022

Patient safety is at the heart of all healthcare organizations. The Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) highlights Patient Safety Awareness Week annually, which marks an opportunity for healthcare to recognize progress and reflect on areas of improvement. The initiative aims to encourage everyone to learn more about health care safety.

World Health Organization (WHO) defines patient safety as a health care discipline that aims to prevent and reduce risks, errors and harm that occur to patients during provision of health care. Studies suggest that as many as 400,000 deaths occur in the United States each year as a result of errors or preventable harm. While many critical elements impact patient safety, one key factor is communication. 

Communication Breakdown

Effective communication is essential and particularly critical in healthcare settings where communication failures contribute directly to patient outcomes. A Joint Comission study found that 80% of serious medical errors resulted from miscommunication between caregivers during patient handovers. 

Communication problems occur for various reasons such as workload pressures, poor communication skills, ineffective policies and procedures, language difficulties, Electronic Health Record (EHR) issues, poor documentation, conflicts between staff, inadequate and ineffective communication tools and systems in hospitals. 

A study published by Jama Internal Medicine looked at 14 000 admissions and found that communication failures were the most common cause of preventable disability or death. Many of these failures were due to using pagers and sending a page to the wrong doctor. The study found that 14% of all pages were sent to the wrong physician when they were not on duty and out of the hospital. 47% of these pages were an emergency or urgent. While the use of pagers may be outdated in some organizations, they are still in use in many. Introducing new and improved systems and protocols can ensure accurate communication in healthcare teams. Such as knowing if a physician is on call or unavailable, or verifying identity on systems to ensure messages reach the right person.


Rectifying communication breakdowns with new systems

Introducing new systems and tools that can directly improve communication effectiveness continues to be a key trend for healthcare organizations. Healthcare may have been slow towards digital transformation over the last decade compared to other industries, but the pandemic has contributed significantly to a digital shift in the industry. Technology is widespread now in supporting healthcare workers to provide quality patient care. Hospital IT departments and Seniors need to be innovators and introduce solutions to support staff. Ensuring there is an open channel for staff feedback and suggestions for new systems is vital.

For more information on Patient Safety Awareness week and useful resources, head to the Institute of Healthcare Improvement website.


Celo is supporting world-class healthcare teams to achieve effective communication

Here at Celo, we pride ourselves in providing a tool that directly contributes to quality communication improvements in healthcare settings. Celo is a communication tool designed by healthcare professionals for the specific uses of healthcare teams. Our messaging app can instantly boost communication and collaboration in an organization. Celo users exchange hundreds of secure messages weekly. Using Celo allows organizations to ensure staff securely share patient data and communicate with verified colleagues only, which eliminates miscommunication between employees contacting the wrong person.

If your organization wants to provide an innovative solution for your teams, chat to our team and receive a free demo of Celo. 

You can also download and try our free app on iOS and Android. 

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