Ensuring patient safety is a critical element of positive patient outcomes. It is an ongoing process to identify areas of improvement and one where manufacturers can help. According to a 2013 study in the Journal of Patient Safety, as many as 440,000 patients die in the U.S. each year due to preventable medical errors [1]. As a trusted supplier of industry-leading respiratory devices and medical fittings, Precision Medical remains focused on patient safety as a top priority, from the design stage through production and support.

Engineered Physical Safeguards

One way to consistently enhance patient safety is to use equipment that employs physical safeguards without compromising performance or ease of use.

To improve safety and facilitate regulatory compliance, Precision Medical equipment listed for use in an oxygen-enriched environment features clear, permanent labels that fulfill Joint Commission requirements [2]. In an industry first, Precision Medical’s flowmeter adjustment knobs introduced a raised, tactile label integrated into the hardware to clearly indicate what gas they dispense.

For air flowmeters, safety can be further enhanced with the addition of Precision Medical’s optional AIR hang tag, which must be moved out of the way before connecting a device to the flowmeter. This quick safety measure reduces the chance of misconnecting oxygen equipment to an air-only line by requiring mindfulness to operate it. In an anonymous survey related to patient safety, approximately 43% of nurse respondents felt that other RNs committed medical errors due to being distracted [3]. While easy, the act of moving the permanently labeled hang tag can help ensure medical professionals remain focused.

Selective Compatibility

Thoughtfully designed and manufactured products can provide ease of use while simultaneously increasing patient safety. For example, Precision Medical’s trach guard, which helps protect accidental occlusion of a patient’s tracheostomy tube, fits all standard 15 mm connection tracheostomy tubes. For convenience, it is dishwasher-safe and allows for easy suctioning of secretions via large openings in the guard.

Although many pieces of respiratory equipment use similar connection interfaces, Precision Medical’s trach guard prevents the accidental connection of respiratory equipment with standard 15 mm or 22 mm connections. This purposeful selective compatibility can prevent potentially serious complications for patients using trach tubes.

Physical and Legal Safety

In some cases, innovative equipment design can protect both the physical safety of the patient and the legal standing of the healthcare provider. As a benefit to patients and practitioners, Precision Medical’s Night Check accessory for oxygen or air flowmeters discreetly illuminates the Thorpe Tube with the press of a button. With this device, clinicians can safely perform liter flow checks and adjustments in dark environments without disturbing patients by turning on room lights.

Night Check also eliminates the potential need to use a personal mobile phone to illuminate the flowmeter. Mobile phone use in a healthcare environment can expose facilities and healthcare professionals to “the risk of HIPAA violations, lawsuits charging invasion of privacy, and unwanted media attention related to security breaches […]”[4].

Uncompromising Safety

"We’re guided by a simple question: Would we put this on our own family members? If we can say yes, without a doubt, then we know we've done a great job in making the product the best we possibly can,” said Michael Krupa, President/CEO. “When you use our products, you feel that sense of quality that comes from Precision Medical."

Precision Medical is committed to ensuring patient safety from the inception of a product all the way through final production and delivery to our customer. To learn more about how Precision Medical can help keep your patients safe and achieving optimal outcomes, please contact us.

 

Reference List:

[1]: “A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care” retrieved 10/22/19 from https://journals.lww.com/journalpatientsafety/Fulltext/2013/09000/A_New,_Evidence_based_Estimate_of_Patient_Harms.2.aspx

[2]: “Joint Commission EC.02.04.03 EP 8” retrieved 10/22/19 from https://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/6/Life_Safety_Code_Prepub_HAP_Jan2018.pdf

[3]: “Do We Face a Facebook Problem? Use of Social Media Among Nurses and Impact on Patient Safety” retrieved 10/22/19 from https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1164/ajrccm-conference.2018.197.1_MeetingAbstracts.A3629

[4]: “Judgment Call: Smartphone Use in Hospitals Requires Smart Policies” retrieved 10/22/19 from https://www.ecri.org/components/HDJournal/Pages/hd201210guid_Smartphones.aspx?tab=2