Mental Health and Patient Safety

Mental Health and Patient Safety

Patient safety has become a matter of global public health concern and this problem has also become a fundamental issue of health care. The hospital is a place to provide round the clock treatment to patients. However, at the present time hospitals create life-threatening as well as fatal conditions for patients.

Every process of patient care safety involves certain safety as well as uncertainty. The importance of discipline in patient safety should be highlighted to protect patients from harm caused by a deficiency in the healthcare process. Improving patient safety means reducing patients’ losses.

Mental Health Patient’s Safety

Medical errors and adverse events occur frequently in hospitals offering mental health treatments. Safety for psychiatric patients is a serious concern. An organization has to be more careful about safety when it comes to a mentally challenged person.

Safety for mentally ill patients involves avoiding errors, limiting harm and reducing the likeliness of mistakes and also lowers infection rates, and reduces errors.

The anxiety of unsafe hinders a patient’s recovery from mental illness. Therefore, a safe and healthy environment has to be maintained, as it will hugely impact mental health. Patients’ safety has a vital role in improving their self-esteem. Moreover, most of the patients such as depressive patients feel hopeless and helpless. In a safe and healthy environment, patients will feel secure and ultimately it helps to boost up their self-esteem

Periodical assessments are an important part of clinical management and may be beneficial in reducing repeat self-harm.

According to the WHO’s future chart, one out of every ten patients in the respective countries suffer losses while receiving hospital care facilities. This damage can be caused by a series of mistakes or an adverse event. The current advancement in technology has made the health care system extremely complex. Due to these complications, health workers face many difficulties in keeping patients safe.

Patient Safety Research in Mental Health

Globally, there are important gaps that we know about avoidable harm in mental healthcare services. Advance and careful thought are needed to apply patient safety measures to suicide prevention and self-harm research.

Self-harm is an urgent Patient Safety Issue

When we talk about Self-harm, it includes self-poisoning, self-cutting and other forms of self-injury. Repeated self-harm and suicide are key outcomes for patient safety in mental illness. Mental Health Patient’s Safety in hospital should focus on a number of areas. Incidents of violence, aggression, restraint, medication errors or incidents due to unsafe wards are likely to have traumatic effects on patients and staff.

However, self-harm is the incident most likely to result in death, mostly by suicide and is, therefore, a key safety concern. The recommendation made by a few researchers seeks to improve patient safety in mental health services by identifying aspects of patient care that are associated with a reduction in suicide and self-harm rates.

In order to provide effective and sustained high levels of mental health care, psychiatric hospitals need to understand the challenges presented by the mental healthcare environment and the need to adopt these environments in such a way that keeps the workforce safe.

How to improve patient safety in mental health units?

Health workers, patients, and support staff share the same goal; the best possible treatment outcome.

The following tips that some health organizations need to implement for Ensuring Patient Safety in Health Care Settings-

  • First of all, ensure the correct identification of the patient. The coding/labelling of the patient can be helpful for this.
  • Avoid using instructional or warning indicators to remove unnecessary delays during hospitalization.
  • Standard operative procedure (SOP) compliance assists in patient safety.
  • Display positive messages about the ward from the discharged patients.
  • Video Surveillance equipment should be installed in mental health units for proper monitoring.
  • Communicate Safety Information and measures to mental health patients.
  • Mental health wards should be tamper-resistant because items in the built environment can be used as weapons or for self-harm.

Conclusion: Suicides among mentally challenged persons are preventable and health services have an important role to play in reducing its incidence as part of the wider population and public health measures.

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