Changing the way we think about safe patient care

Changing the way we think about safe patient care

Interestingly, The Health Foundation recently published a new report, Continuous improvement in patient safety that explained its collective thinking for how patient safety can be understood, improved and managed. It raises some good points such as the need to monitor the conditions that lead to patient harm, using new opportunities to address system wide safety issues and understanding the risks in service.

But does this address this sufficiently? Do we need to change the way we think about safe patient care? 

In his article, The way we think about work is broken Ron Gant explains clearly the need for us to change the way we think about patient safety,

“We design work processes designed to protect workers based on a worldview that we rarely reflect on and in the process we create self-fulfilling prophecies that serve no purpose except to confirm that worldview.

For example, when we see people as untrustworthy and as a problem to control, we design systems based on this worldview – rules, procedures, zero tolerance rules, incentive programs, behaviour-based safety.

Although intended to help workers be “safe”, none of this is designed to help workers do their jobs and often they simply make the work more difficult. As a result we see violations, sneaky behaviours (such as underreporting) and distrust. This confirms our initial suspicions, our theory has been confirmed and therefore the solution is simple – tighter controls. We must protect you, from you, in spite of you. The vicious cycle continues.”

Kathleen Davies takes this one step further, in her blog and discusses the need for safety to make a “positive impact on the ecosystem for the protection of all life” and that processes, products and people all need to be safe. By creating a positive impact, workers are more likely to adhere to safety provision.

So how can we ensure a positive impact is always made? Whilst discussing intentional intuition, Marc Resnick challenges whether we can be more intentional in our use of intuition – both in the design process and elsewhere. Or, to relate to the points above, should we change our view and ‘design in’ our intentions for a positive impact towards safe patient care?

In our opinion, making this intention intuitive within products and services will drive a positive self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s why the Biotechsis® range of products is designed to encompass patient and carer safety intuitively. Its multifunctional nature (they are all self-sanitising, anti-static, anti-odour and thermo-dynamic) give additional benefits and further positive impact.

To understand how the Biotechsis® inbed care system can help you improve safe patient care, please call 01454 417961 or email

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