The Most Important Patient Safety Issues for 2015

Becker’s Hospital Review recently published a Top Ten list of patient safety issues for 2015. While some of them are perennial top concerns for patients, there are some new ones given the recent Ebola outbreak of 2014 and the continuing expansion of information technology and its role in patient care. Four of the top ten are related to the critical area of healthcare professional/patient communication including medication errors, diagnostic errors, patient transitions, and patient engagement in their own care. Personal protective equipment protocol made the 2015 list primarily as a result of the Ebola scare during which two US nurses contracted the virus after treating infected patients. According to Becker’s, “The WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines for donning and removing PPE, and hospitals are bolstering their infection control tactics. Additionally, nursing unions such as National Nurses United are going on strike, demanding better protective gear and safety precautions and increased education and training on treating patients with Ebola or other infectious diseases.”