Measures rolled to make hospitals safer

The health ministry has developed certain guidelines and standard operating procedures (SoPs) for the safety of patients following the recent incident of an anesthetic technician of JDWNRH drugging and sexually assaulting a patient attendant.

A release from the Health Minister said that hospital management and administration has rolled out transformation initiatives across all the health facilities in the country.

In addition the ministry also initiated implementing the Bhutan health standard for quality assurance (BHSQA) in hospitals around the country which looks at standardizing clinical practices and processes for better quality and outcome of care.

“All SoPs and clinical practice guidelines, needs to be reviewed and validated continuously, to adapt to changing settings and clinical requirements,” it said.

In terms of access to controlled drugs, the system is in place to limit access to controlled drugs by keeping the drugs under strict lock and key and only a few in charge of the wards and the operation theatres (OT) have access to controlled drugs. “However, the ministry reminded all hospital administrations to strictly abide by the existing mechanism on access to controlled drugs and to prevent such incidents from reoccurring” said the release.

It added that in order to strengthen monitoring, supervision and compliance JDWNRH has translated some guidelines and SoPs into action. These include drug testing for staffs working in high risk areas and installation of extra CCTV cameras.

In order to enhance quality of care and patient safety, the health minister shared that the ministry is continuously reviewing and re-sensitizing on 5S-CQI (Sort, Set, Shine, Standard, Sustain-Continuous Quality Improvement) which have been implemented across all health facilities including hospitals and BHU’s. “This initiative enhances the design and delivery of health services to achieve optimum patient outcome and safety,” stated the release.

“These tools and strategies define the scope of health professionals to undertake clinical tasks within an appropriate setting and the standard procedure so that patient safety is ensured,” said the release.  It added that the ministry has also reminded all health professionals to abide by the professional code of conduct to ensure that the recent incident doesn’t re-occur.

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