National Accreditation Board for Hospital and Healthcare Providers: Hospital management to be responsible for patients' safety
By Syed Akbar Hyderabad: With medical errors being responsible for a large number of deathsin the country, the National Accreditation Board for Hospital and Healthcare Providershas called for patients' safety through reduction in nosocomial or hospital-acquiredinfections. According to Dr Girdhar Gyani, chief executive officer of NABH, though there's noofficial data on the number of deaths due to medical errors in the country, hospitalmanagement should not be lax in enhancing patients' safety. Nosocomial infections havebecome a major health problem in India with many patients acquiring new diseases fromhospitals. He said hospital management will be held accountable for patient's safety. Incidentally, hospital-acquired infections formed the major chunk of research carried outby Lancet journal on superbugs in the country. Information gathered by NABH revealed thathalf of the preventable deaths were linked to medical errors in hospitals, be they on thesurgical table, intensive care units or in medical wards. Stating that most of the cases of medical errors even in developed nations are "notpicked up or reported", Dr Gyani said even the United States of America had recognisedmedical errors as a public health issue. "No data in India does not mean there's noproblem here," he pointed out in his presentation on inpatients' safety here. He said the NABH national database contained information on hospital acquired infections,occupational exposure, pharmaco-vigilance, accidents and communicable diseases. A diseaseregistry is also being prepared. "In developed countries as many as one in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospitalcare caused by a range of errors or adverse events.In developing countries, the probability is even higher as much as 20 times higher insome countries. At any given time, 14 lakh people worldwide suffer from infections spread by hospitals," he pointed out. He said the data being collected by NABH is in a "nascent stage". Dr Gyani blamedhospital infections on "human factors, unnatural work flow, lack of team work, inadequatepolicies/procedures, standardisation and bed occupancy rate and average length of stay". The NABH data will reflect on percentage of medication errors, transfusion reactions,urinary tract infection rate, respiratory infection rate, intra-vascular device infectionrate, surgical site infection rate, incidence of falls in hospitals, incidence of bedsores after admission and incidence of needle stick injuries.