Health Care Industry : Patient Safety

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In the Australian health care industry, patient safety is the prevention of harm to patients (IOM, 2000). There are many clinical quality and safety issues in the health care industry. It is important to address these issues because health care is a tumultuous environment. An essential part of improving the safety and quality of care provided to patients is the gathering, analysis and use of information regarding clinical performance across the organisation and implementing quality improvement strategies. One of the most prominent clinical safety issues that have been identified in General Practice is the prevention and control of health acquired infections. A health-acquired infection (HAI) is an infection that occurs in a patient while they are being cared for that was not present when the person was admitted into the healthcare facility (WHO, 2011). Negative results of health-acquired infections are not only an exponential cost increase to the health practitioner, but have high human costs as well. This paper will address the prevention and control of health acquired infections in a general practice setting, as well as discuss why they are a quality and safety issue, the human factors that contribute to this issue, the risk infections present, the implementation of a quality improvement strategy focusing on the “Plan, Do, Study, Act” model, and finally how consumers can aide in improving infection control. There is great benefit to implementing a quality improvement
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