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Incomplete Data Plays Role in Patient Safety Concerns, Survey Finds

October 27, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Patient safety is still a top concern for physician and nurse leaders in the U.S., and incomplete data is linked closely with this worry, according to a recent survey from Philips.

The survey, commissioned by Philips and Regina Corso Consulting, which included responses from 251 physician and nurse leaders around the U.S., showed that data is playing an increasingly important role in patient safety, and 74 percent of physician and nurse leaders say they believe lack of patient data during in-hospital transport is a risk to patients.

Philips researchers point out that the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., with approximately one in 10 hospitalized patients experiencing harm due to such errors, with at least 50 percent preventability.

To this end, patient safety remains a priority for key healthcare stakeholders, and of those surveyed, almost three-quarters of physician leaders (73 percent) and four in five nurse leaders (79 percent) said patient safety keeps them up at night. An important part of maintaining patient safety is ensuring a complete record of patient monitoring data, however, when patients are transferred from one department to another, clinicians often struggle with incomplete data records due to multiple systems operating independently.

Selected from a list of six options in the survey, the top three threats to patient safety between physician and nurse leaders collectively were inconsistent care delivery, having incomplete data on patients and alarm fatigue.

According to the survey, three-quarters (74 percent) of both physician and nurse leaders say patient safety is at risk when exchanging information about patients between departments. Seven in 10 of both groups say lack of complete data on patients is a cause of clinical inefficiencies, and physician and nurse leaders agree that better access to critical patient data is beneficial to clinician response (91 percent and 96 percent).

“While patient safety remains the top priority for healthcare professionals, patient care can be hindered by not having a complete picture of each patient’s monitoring data,” Felix Baader, business leader, patient monitoring at Philips, said in a statement. “A seamless record of a patient’s health history can support clinicians in the complex and fast-moving hospital environment. Recent advancements in technology have gotten us closer as an industry to ensuring that clinicians are equipped with the information they need, when they need it from admission to discharge, but it’s up to healthcare leaders worldwide to work together and make this a reality.”

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