Patient safety is a chief priority for healthcare provider organizations. It’s no surprise, therefore, that patient safety consistently ranks on the annual lists of top risks for healthcare organizations published by Crowe as well as on its “2021 Top Clinical Risks in Healthcare.” Noncompliance with safety-related regulatory requirements and evidence-based clinical practices can result in patient harm, decreased quality-based scores, reduced medical reimbursement, and other negative impacts.
Three high-risk, critical areas for patient safety today include infection prevention, device disinfection and sterilization, and surgical safety (including surgical suite disinfection). Organizations should consider including these important safety-related areas in their risk assessments and audit plans.
Following is a look at common audit findings in these areas and strategies auditors can use to help mitigate risks. Additionally, it’s important to note that patient safety should be a focus across the continuum of care. Audits should address safety compliance in inpatient settings, such as the operating room (OR), as well as in ambulatory surgery centers and physician practices, especially as industry trends show more patient care moving to outpatient settings in the years ahead.1