Soon Hospitals To Have An Independent Body To Look After Medical Errors

Soon Hospitals To Have An Independent Body To Look After Medical ErrorsMedical faults including a mop left inside a patient's stomach after a surgical operation, administering wrong injection, over dosage of medication and many other errors have taken the form of a nightmare for both physicians as well as patients.

With the intention to simplify and develop the healthcare system, there will be an independent body, which will look after such incidents that go unreported.

The initial step towards this path was taken on Sunday when a group of doctors, nurses, hospital executives, patients' groups and NGOs assembled at civic-run KEM Hospital in order to launch a patient safety initiative with the support of the World Health Organization's "World Alliance for Patient Safety", one of the first supportive attempts to handle this matter.

Nikhil Datar, a gynaecologist, said, “Till now, patient-doctor relations have hinged on a confrontationist we-versus-they approach. We are now trying to involve all stakeholders to improve the medical system from within.”

He commented that the western model that was based on compensation laws and had led to doctors practicing defensive medicine, had failed and it was time Indian physicians made a joint attempt with patients to improve healthcare services.

Dr. Akhil Sangal of the ICHA said, “We want hospitals to report errors, even if it is done confidentially, so that we can identify problem areas and work on them. It won't be a about a stamp of approval as much as a real effort to gain excellence in healthcare.”

Dr. Sangal mentioned the example of a plan of voluntary reporting in United States, where infections related to bloodstream across hospitals were came down by 66 per cent.

Dr. Datar added, “Doctors in the west have started sharing information in confidential meetings. Information shared in these meetings is not taken as evidence in the court of law. This encourages doctors to openly discuss errors and prevent others from repeating them.”

The pan-India patient protection movement will be flagged off with Mumbai hospitals.

Maharashtra has already taken the lead to save patients by comprising a clause in a recently-approved order defending medical establishments against assaults.

The clause needs the administration to set up a redressal group for patients' troubles that includes doctors, patient groups plus government functionaries.

Dr. Suhas Kate, president of the Association of Medical Consultants, told that they had met additional chief secretary Chandra Iyengar last week to ease the establishment of a patient complaint redressal committee at the earliest.