It is said that no one is above mistakes and maybe that is true; however, in sensitive areas like the healthcare sector, errors must be reduced to the barest minimum. It is obvious that errors in the healthcare system of any society will have a direct impact on human lives. It is therefore imperative that healthcare providers, especially in Nigeria, take every precaution necessary to avoid errors.
A lot of Nigerian healthcare providers have made a couple of “expensive mistakes” which have being taken for granted. As a result, many lives have been lost and a lot more have been put in some form of discomfort or disability. These avoidable disasters have been traced to all kinds of errors during various levels of patient-healthcare provider interactions. All these errors can be avoided; really they can!
WHAT ARE THESE ERRORS NIGERIANS MUST AVOID?
- DIAGNOSTIC ERRORS: It’s so sad to know that diagnostic errors is still claiming the lives of many patients in Nigeria today. This is probably due to poor teamwork among healthcare providers and in many cases sheer negligence and lack of dedication to service. It is obvious that we don’t have enough doctors in the system as the average doctor to patient ratio is 1:53,000. However, if the few doctors we have can show more dedication, we should be able to reduce this error. This is not to say that all our doctors are not dedicated; rather, I believe there are rooms for improvement.
- CYBER-CRIME OF MEDICAL DEVICES AND DATA: Cyber security of medical devices and data protection is key in any healthcare center. It is possible for hackers to access the medical records, dosages and device functionality of hospitals and even go on to alter the whole settings of the hospital track record. This can lead to the death of patients. Therefore, the Nigerian Healthcare system and its practitioners must step up their game in this area in order to protect the lives of people by creating a cyber security measure to block these hackers from tampering with hospital devices via digital or chip based technologies.
- FACILITY AND WORKPLACE SAFETY: The safety of patients and staff is very important and paramount. This should be taken seriously by the hospital management team so as to prevent injury, infection and the likes. Therefore, strategic and feasible information should be put in place to enhance safety of patients and staffs.
- STERILIZATION AND REPROCESSING CHALLENGES: Medical experts should always protect the lives of their patients by ensuring that all medical equipment and devices being used are properly sterilized. Without proper sterilization of equipment before usage, the risk of acquiring infections for both patient and healthcare provider increases.
- FEEDBACK AND QUALITY SERVICE: The Nigerian healthcare system should put in place a medium for getting feedback and experience of patients during their hospital stay in order to help the medical team render quality and satisfactory services to their patients coming in next time.
Lives will continue to be lost and many more will go through undue pain and hardship if errors during healthcare deliver are not reduced. Feel free to drop a comment about your experience either first or second-hand in this regard. Save Nigeria by sharing this insight across your platforms, I trust you will. Cheers!