Addressing Patient Safety Through Improvement Of Prescribing Etiquette By Health Care Workers At Kilifi County Referral Hospital, Kenya
Authors: Sheba Mohammad and Nadia Aliyan
In an era when patient safety is paramount, a team of healthcare heroes at Kilifi County Referral Hospital is rewriting the prescription for medical care, and their story is nothing short of remarkable.
Meet Sheba Mohammad and Nadia Aliyan, two healthcare advocates on a mission to revolutionize patient safety through the refinement of prescribing practices. As patient guardians, they recognized that one of the most critical avenues to enhance patient welfare lies in addressing prescription-based errors, a persistent peril within the healthcare landscape.
Theirs is a tale of relentless dedication to the well-being of the individuals they serve. Their journey unfolded through a carefully orchestrated campaign that spanned three intensive months, from July to September 2023, and brought about a transformative wave of change in the Kilifi County Referral Hospital.
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Prescribing errors, a longstanding challenge, often sow the seeds of patient safety breaches. Sheba and Nadia understood that instilling good prescribing etiquette is an unswerving strategy to reduce medical mishaps and bolster patient well-being, particularly in environments still reliant on manual systems. But their mission didn’t stop at error reduction; it aimed to elevate diagnostic stewardship and encourage the rational prescription of antimicrobial drugs, further fortifying the defence for patient safety.
The cornerstone of their campaign was education—a series of serial continuous medical training sessions, meticulously designed to enlighten the healthcare workforce. Their approach was not merely a one-way street of instruction but a dynamic exchange, a conversation that traversed the complexities of antibiotic use and, crucially, the intricacies of sound prescribing habits.
The campaign reached its crescendo with a hands-on workshop, where healthcare professionals engaged in face-to-face sessions. Here, the heart of safe prescribing practices was laid bare, and the path to better patient safety was illuminated.
The campaign was not just an exercise in theoretical education. It demanded tangible outcomes. Thus, a pre-survey and post-survey process, conducted through questionnaires, became the litmus test for success. It focused on the transformation of healthcare workers’ understanding of antibiotic resistance and the judicious use of medications.
The results of this profound journey are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Through collaborative efforts and tireless commitment, the team witnessed a monumental shift in awareness. The post-survey revealed a remarkable transformation, with awareness surging from 35% to a staggering 90%. This newfound understanding spanned the spectrum of prescribing criteria, from the right choice of medication to the correct dosing and the legible recording of these essential details.
However, this transformation was not confined to healthcare professionals alone. Patients, the ultimate beneficiaries of this campaign, also became active participants. A new focus emerged, involving patients in the therapeutic objectives of prescribed medications and empowering them through education about anticipated adverse effects.
Furthering their pursuit of excellence, Sheba, Nadia, and their team introduced quantifiable metrics to assess the campaign’s success. Near-miss occurrences and sentinel events were carefully monitored and recorded through patient safety incident reports and prescription audits.
But their mission doesn’t end here. The path to patient safety, they contend, must be dynamic and ongoing. Regular reassessment, guided by the facility’s therapeutic committees, continues through prescription audits, incident reports, and healthcare worker induction packages.
Sheba Mohammad, Nadia Aliyan, and their team are living testaments to the transformative power of relentless dedication to patient safety. Their journey is a beacon of hope for Kilifi County Referral Hospital, as it forges ahead in the mission to provide safer, more reliable healthcare.
This is a story that reaffirms the indomitable spirit of healthcare professionals who are driven by the unwavering belief that patient safety is the heart and soul of their practice. And it’s a reminder that in the pursuit of better healthcare, education and commitment are the most potent prescriptions of all.
Read More about the QI story below:
This is part of the storytelling contest submission for World Patient Safety Month. Read more here.