World Health Organization

The federal government says it has concluded plans to develop National Patients’ Safety Guide.

It said the guide was part of measures to ensure that patients were protected​ from unnecessary harm that could lead to death during medical treatment.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed this at the weekend while delivering lecture titled; “Patient Safety in Nigeria,” during the maiden public lecture of the College of Health Sciences of Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State.

Adewole described ‘patient’s safety’ as the reduction of risk or unnecessary harm associated with health care to an acceptable minimum.

He identified key issues in patients safety in Nigeria to include, medication errors, diagnostic errors, discharged practices work place safety, reprocessing and sterilization issues, improper supervision of patients, poor follow-up among others.

“In a short while, the national patients’ safety guide would be developed. This would be followed by capacity building of health workers, use of safe and suitable infrastructure, ensuring maintenance culture and safe environment for patients and providers,” he said.

The Minister noted that patients’ safety emerged in response to a high prevalent of avoidable adverse event in the treatment of patients.

He stressed the need to promote measures for the safety of patients in all levels of healthcare delivery in the country.

He also disclosed that the Ministry had provided conducive environment for change in practice, regulation and coordination of patient safety intervention.

Adewole, however, noted that all adverse events could be prevented given the current knowledge, information and the state of the art medical care at the time of the incident.

“In medical practice, error can occur at the planning, monitoring or execution phase of healthcare. It is the failure to carry out a planned action as intended or application of an incorrect plan to achieve and through either doing the wrong thing (commission) or failing to do the right thing (omission).

“For example, an allergic reaction to a drug administered for the first time is an adverse event but would be considered unpreventable given the lack of pre-existing knowledge of the patient’s idiosyncratic allergy,” he said.

The Minister noted that there is rise in patient safety throughout health care system, (including service providers, especially doctors, nurses and pharmacists among other).

He, however, posited that fostering accountability and application of safe science in the design and delivery of services will go a long way in promoting safety of Nigerians during care.

“Although to err is human, patient safety is paramount in all health care settings and should not be compromised as it affects the quality of care.

Clear policies, organizational leadership capacity, data to drive safety improvements, skilled healthcare professionals and collaborations are all needed to ensure sustainable and significant improvements in patient safety,” he said.

Adewole assured the management of the institution of collaboration and endorsement of the proposed establishment of a Patient Safety Institute in the University.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor if the University, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, said the Minister had shown a practical demonstration for the enthronement of patients’ safety through the passage of patients’ bill of life, which he said has now become the platform for the doctrine of patients safety development in Africa.

He said the institution is set to commence the establishment of a Patient Safety Institute to drive quality healthcare delivery in the country.

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