Sri Lanka’s leading private healthcare provider Hemas Hospitals continues to champion standards for patient safety in Sri Lanka, with their comprehensive, end-to-end safety protocols. This World Patient Safety Day, both Hemas Hospitals Wattala and Thalawathugoda marked the day with a series of impactful activities, including an engaging webinar lead by Dr. Malith Atapattu, Head of Medical Services and General Manager Quality, Hemas Hospitals, for all staff members on delivering patient safety and quality healthcare.
“Improving patient care and safety is a never-ending march toward perfection, and it is a critical part of the healthcare process. A strong patient safety protocol requires continuous, rigorous effort on the part of a hospital’s staff and administration to avoiding unintended or unexpected harm to patients during their diagnosis or treatment. As a primary point of front-line care for Sri Lankans, the pandemic too has been a true test of mettle on all these accounts. The dedicated team at Hemas Hospitals continues every day to work hard in advancing and shaping the hospital’s patient safety agenda to suit the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape within the country,” stated Dr. Attapattu.
Hemas Hospitals patient safety protocols tackle a wide breadth of topics essential to ensuring the safety of their patients from the moment they enter their treatment facilities. This includes a broad scope of checks and standards, which include assessing each patient for allergies or falls risk, and establishing their nutritional requirements at the time of admission to minor but impactful practices such as maintaining handwashing compliance rates above 95% to minimise cross-infection rates, protocols to ensure medication safety, all the way to disposing the hospital’s waste correctly. These stringent practices lower the risk of patients developing life-threatening complications, enhances speed of recovery, avoids unnecessary demise, and reduces infections and falls, complications which can occur through diagnostic errors, hospital acquired infections, and medication errors.
“The past 1.5 years have certainly been a challenging and eye-opening period for issues of safety in our healthcare systems. But with an innovation-driven mindset, we have been able to offer our patients and staff the safety they require in the journey of healing while contributing greatly to strengthening Sri Lanka’s COVID-19′ response,” he continued to state.
Hemas Hospitals is currently the only hospital in Sri Lanka to utilise Electronic Health Records (EHR) within its operations. EHR systems equip doctors, nurses and staff with the most up-to-date patient information to make the most appropriate and informed data-driven diagnostic decisions as critical health data will be able to follow patients between locations. Hemas Hospitals hopes to further amplify its benefits with the introduction of biometric records, which uses to fingerprints and facial recognition facilities to assign a unique identification number to each patient. It is a powerful and unique step to fortifying patient safety standards within a hospital setting.
Further fortifying Hemas Hospitals’ journey to optimize patient safety, the hospital chain is currently training a number of clinical pharmacists to assure medication safety for its patients. This primary batch of clinical pharmacists are expected to evaluate all aspects of patient treatment to ensure that all patients trusting Hemas Hospitals with their care receive the most effective and safest therapy and medicine to achieve the best clinical outcomes, and reduce adverse reactions along with unnecessary costs.
With the beginning of the pandemic, Hemas Hospitals jumped into action by setting up patient triaging areas with temperature and health checks, disinfection stations as well as segregation areas for patients and visitors across its all its locations. An online triaging system was thus introduced, where patients will fill an online form before coming to the hospitals, making it easier to assess their risk before entering the hospital premises.
All hospital staff were thoroughly educated on the pandemic, and regular disinfection of the hospital environment was kicked into high gear. Clinical practices like emergency intubations were carried out in isolated areas, and advanced ultraviolet air sterilization and HEPA filters were introduced to prevent cross-contamination.
Hospital staff were also trained and equipped with Personal Protection Equipment to avoid further infection. Currently, the hospital controls a strict schedule of dates and times for its surgeries and routine treatment to ensure patient and staff safety at all junctures. To this date, Hemas Hospitals conducts daily audits of all its systems and processes to fine tune and strengthen its defenses against the pandemic and ensure patient safety at all its treatment locations.
Hemas Hospitals is currently the only COVID-19′ Safety Certified Healthcare institution in the country with the SLS 1672:2020 standard under its belt. The certification is awarded by the SLSI after an extensive, multi-step audit that screens the organisation’s strict adherence to COVID-19 safety operational health protocols established based on Ministry of Health (MOH), Epidemiology Unit, Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.