Patient safety is fundamental to Mediclinic’s promise

Posted on 4 December 2017

Patient safety is one of Mediclinic’s core values, but what does it mean for you as a patient?

‘When you are admitted into one of our hospitals as a patient, you are entrusting us with your care,’ says Ansie Prinsloo, Mediclinic’s national Patient Safety Officer. You might be suffering from illness, injury or perhaps require complicated treatment. Our brand promise is expertise you can trust, so we need to do everything we can to honour and retain your trust, which ultimately means keeping you safe.’

At Mediclinic we constantly ask ourselves: are we doing everything possible to prevent harm from reaching our patients? Our intention is earnest, of high priority and starts with preventing errors from occurring.

To this end, we have strong processes in place to control high-risk situations.

Given the highly dynamic, complex and stressful nature of the healthcare environment, however, errors do occur despite our best intentions. ‘We are devastated when things go wrong for a patient,’ says Prinsloo, ‘The last thing we want is for harm to come to them. We work extremely hard to prevent errors from happening, but should they happen, we have a robust systems- approach in place to learn from these errors and avoid their reoccurrence.’

The management of risk and errors within our hospitals aligns with international best practice. If something goes wrong, the incident and the entire system in which it occurred is thoroughly investigated so that the learning can rapidly be generated and spread nationally.

‘To ensure the required priority and approach to patient safety, we have introduced Patient Safety Managers at each of our hospitals – a move that we feel is leading the way in patient safety in South Africa,’ explains Prinsloo. Patient Safety Managers are registered nurses who have a mandate to coordinate investigations alongside clinical frontline staff (nurses, doctors, pharmacists and hospital management) and ensure these learnings are escalated to the leadership team at corporate office. They also co-own improvement work based on the analyses, establishing a just culture and together they form a network devoted to improving patient safety.

Another drive within Mediclinic is to capacitate our clinical front-line to co-create the safe care to which we commit. This year for example, our nursing colleagues nationally participated in a large-scale quality improvement project to enhance safety for patients whilst building resilience in the teams.

‘In short, we prevent, investigate, learn and improve as a team at all levels of the organisation. While we still have a lot more work to do, we are working very hard to address patient safety risks. Establishing Patient Safety Managers, capacitating the clinical front-line with improvement capability and adopting a systems approach to patient safety has taken us a long way towards achieving this. The ultimate aim will remain to prevent harm from coming to our patients,’ explains Prinsloo.

We ask you to help us too

Ensuring patient safety is a team effort, and you are part of our team. We invite you to join us on our patient safety quest. You can do this by:

  • Sharing all relevant information about your condition, your medical history or medication you are taking, with us
  • Being responsible when using your medication
  • Following your doctor and nurse’s advice about treatments and your time in the hospital
  • Clarifying anything you are unsure about such as what to look out for once you are discharged
  • Getting in touch with your doctor, nursing team or the hospital’s Patient Safety Manager if things do go wrong

‘Our concern for patients’ safety goes beyond their hospital stay. It’s also important to us that they have the knowledge to keep themselves safe after discharge,’ concludes Prinsloo.


Published in Prime

In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, Mediclinic cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.

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