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Patient safety should take precedence over paper work: Dr Sawant

Accreditation bodies in India need to minimise the clerical work and focus on the practical on-ground realities so that patient safety is accorded focus rather than paper work, said Dr Deepak Sawant, Minister of Public Health & Family Welfare while addressing the inaugural session of the 7th International Patient Safety Conference (IPSC) in Mumbai.

“I am glad, that an international conference is being organized on the subject of patient safety – which is very close to my heart. Today we have almost 6 crore people being treated in India and ‘affordability with safety’ is a concern for all. In this regard I would like to request accreditation bodies to minimise the clerical work involved and focus on the practical on-ground realities so that patient safety is accorded focus rather than paper work,” said Dr Sawant.

Alluding to the rise in cases of violence against medical fraternity, he said, “It is important that hospitals train staff to manage not just the patient but also the family and emphasise communication and transparency so that incidents of vandalism and patient distress are avoided.”

Dr Preetha Reddy, Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Group, addressed the plenary session of the patient safety conference.

“Safeguarding patient interest and safety requires us to adopt a holistic, systematic approach that extends across professional, cultural, technological and procedural boundaries. In order to this we have to increase engagement with patients, care-givers, the public, clinical partners, healthcare organisations, and the government,” Dr Reddy said.

“Unfortunately while longstanding issues remain unresolved, new threats to patient safety emerge each day. Patient safety and the first principle, do no harm, need to be continually at the core of all we do. In order to do so, healthcare systems need to become accessible, affordable and accountable,” she added.

Eminent speakers, both from India and abroad, including IMA, AIIMS, IMA, KPMG, JCI (US), NABH and leading Indian providers attended the conference and shared their insights on defining strategies for patient safety improvement. Speakers from Microsoft, TCS, BMJ and Government of Taiwan shared insights on managing healthcare through IT.

A unique performance by ‘Drama Circuit’ directed by Ms. Gulfam Khan had actors playing out case scenarios common to every day hospital settings. Experts from diverse clinical fields offered their views on the best manner to manage such scenarios. The action learning technique was well-received by delegates and experts alike.

A special presentation by the Mumbai Dabbawallas on ensuring consistency and quality and learning’s from their models was also part of the day’s deliberations.

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