Patient safety is a critical part of the healthcare paradigm. Throughout 2022 and going into 2023, Qatar’s Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), a leading government provider of ambulatory and community healthcare, has reached its highest levels of clinicians using technology to deliver care. This has made PHCC more proactive in patient safety and care delivery than ever before—including hyper-focused clinician training to ensure a clear and present understanding of what can be done using technology in a safe and meaningful way.
PHCC has millions of interactions with patients on an annual basis, with each having the potential to change the course of treatment for a patient. These interactions incorporate technology that requires a tacit understanding of how that technology can be used to better care for patients. The influx of new technology has made patient safety more important than any other time in the history of medicine and given us the tools with which to help prevent and reduce risks and errors that could cause patients unnecessary harm.
It should always be considered that new tools, technologies, and platforms can also create new complex issues in healthcare that directly impact patient safety. As such, in this digital age, the use of technology in patient care needs direct consideration and mitigation. The World Health Organization recognizes that one in 10 patients will be directly affected by a patient safety event at some point during their course of care or treatment. This highlights the fact that patient safety is a critical field of healthcare that should be a core driver of how patients are treated, and care is delivered.
Interacting with the electronic health record (EHR) is a key part of how patients are cared for at any healthcare organization. PHCC has been a pillar of patient safety since its inception and continues to lead the state of Qatar in best practices. A function of patient safety is the interaction between clinicians and the digital tools used to care for patients. PHCC has recognized this critical interaction as being a key function of how it delivers ongoing education and training for clinicians as they serve the people of Qatar and deliver the safest possible care.
An additional component of patient safety is quality improvement. Academia considers these two areas related and intertwined, meaning they should be looked at in concert with each other. Quality can drive patient safety, which in turn can drive quality. PHCC strives to always improve upon its care models and delivery by leveraging the tools and technologies that can make healthcare better. As a key partner of Oracle Cerner, PHCC can leverage the latest tools and technology to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. These can include—but aren’t limited to—alerts for missing allergies, drug-to-drug interaction, and order duplication, helping keep patients safe and deliver the best possible outcomes.
Patient safety is an area that anyone working in healthcare can positively impact. It’s a team effort requiring clinicians, technical experts, quality experts, and direct support from leadership to achieve the optimum goal: 100% safety for its patients, with safety being at the forefront of clinicians’ minds when treating patients.
A great example of patient safety in action can be seen with PHCC’s ongoing expansion of services for patients. By moving into new facilities while using the same Oracle Cerner platform, PHCC is showing its dedication to keeping access open to patients across the state of Qatar—and all through a single, seamless record. In the years to come, PHCC will continue its mission to always deliver the safest care possible and will leverage the best technology to treat patients.
We encourage all patients to be active participants in their health care. Ask questions and make sure you fully understand the treatment plan with your doctor. Please visit https://www.ihi.org/ for more information.