Fall Prevention ! Having been in dialysis for 35 years, I have never seen as many falls as I have these past 5 years. I made it a point to leave my office during turnover to watch the process. The one thing that stuck out like a sore thumb... Staff do not escort patients to and from the scale and lobby. Patients wander off after dialysis to the scale alone. Some even using canes and walkers. I was shocked. I always walked my patient to scale and many times with an attached bag of saline. What are the new care givers thinking. Not to mention, they are allowing the patients to weigh themselves. Then they wonder when the post weight is off ! Lets get back to basics and escort patients at all times.
pt. safety: -patient monitoring -what katie said -double checking the machine to ensure proper settings
I think all the basics are overlooked these days. Been in the game for 15 years, the things I took as "norm", you know, aseptic technique, proper assesment of an access, pre and post vitals(how about you leave your needles in until you have a satisfactory sittting and standing post bp?) It seems those have been replaced with the crazy infection control practices that are being demanded of us. Seriously, need to have gloves on to set up a machine that you yourself have just wiped down with 1% bleach solution. Hand hygiene before putting on gloves and after removing? I have told my staff that you should just put sanitizer on after removing your gloves and then just keep rubbing your hands together to give the impression of rubbing the sanitizer in until you are ready to put on a new pair of gloves. The industry is putting crazy expectations on us and as a result, some of us are letting other areas go neglected. End rant
Everything, and I mean everything that we do within the walls of the clinic has something to do with patient safety. We all recognize the obvious ones, vital signs, trip hazards, med errors, tx prescip., water checks, etc. As medical proffesionals, we are trained, and trained and re-trained on the importance of what we do in regards to patient safety. What may not be as obvious is the patient's role in their safety as well as the safety of their fellow patients. A strong patient advocacy presence whether driven by the patients themselves or the clinic staff or even family members would undoubtedly lead to a safer patient enviroment.
Any patient advocacy group should be encouraged and guided by the Medical Director, Nurse Manager and MSW and Dietitian. Patients and family members can be asked if they would like to participate in an Ad Hoc type of roll or through the local renal network. The key is to help the patients and families realize the huge impact they can have in their own health. Proper diet, fluid intake, not missing/shortening treatments, taking their medications are just a few areas patients and family members can help by encourging each other and not being "yelled at" all the time.
What is the purpose of a patient advocacy group? To educate patients? I think that should be a normal function of the dialysis facility and/or corporation.
The medical directors of most dialysis facilities have financial interests in the dialysis center. They are often corporate employees or have contractual agreements with for-profit dialysis corporations.
Patient advocates should be arguing for more corporate resources to be dedicated to improving patient care and patients' lives. This kind of patient advocacy is sorely needed and needs to be independent of the influence of corporate employees.