By keeping patients as the focal point of the healthcare system, CAHO and PFPSF aspire to elevate patient safety and enhance the overall quality of the patient journey.
On World Patient Safety Day, observed annually on September 17th, the Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organisations (CAHO) and the Patient for Patient Safety Foundation (PFPSF) have collaborated to underscore the critical importance of patient engagement in healthcare.
This year's World Patient Safety Day was observed around the theme of 'Engaging patients for patient safety,'. By placing patients at the centre of the healthcare system, CAHO and PFPSF aim to enhance patient safety and improve the overall patient experience.
Engaging patients in their healthcare is a crucial step towards addressing the issue of medical errors and improving patient safety. Patients who are actively involved in their care experience better health outcomes and higher satisfaction levels.'¯
Research has shown that engaged patients are more likely to adhere to treatment plans, have fewer hospital readmissions, and experience improved overall well-being.
The Role of Patient Advisory Councils
Patient Advisory Councils (PACs) are pivotal in ensuring patients' voices are heard, integrated, and valued within the healthcare system. These councils serve as platforms for patients to voice their concerns, provide feedback, and influence decision-making processes.'¯
'¯Dr. Alexander Thomas, founder and patron of CAHO, emphasises the vital role of trust and communication in the patient-provider relationship. Instances of medical errors can erode this trust, impacting not only the patient's confidence in their care but also undermining the broader healthcare system.'¯
CAHO aims to bridge this gap by establishing PACs and creating a collaborative environment where patients actively participate in healthcare decisions.
Empowering Patients Through PREMs
Patient Reported Experience Measures (PREMs) are self-reporting instruments that assess patients' perceptions of their care experiences. These measures provide valuable insights into the quality of care and help healthcare providers identify areas for improvement.'¯
In collaboration with PFPSF, CAHO aims to sensitise healthcare organisations to the importance of PREMs and encourage widespread adoption.'¯
By actively seeking patient feedback through PREMs, healthcare organisations can better understand patients' needs and preferences, consequently improving the quality of care they deliver.
President of CAHO, Dr Vijay Agarwal, noted that establishing PACs and adopting PREMs are significant in the country's healthcare delivery history.'¯
He further added, "To support the establishment of these councils, CAHO is releasing a comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide to Establishing a PAC." This guide will serve as a valuable resource for healthcare organisations embarking on the journey towards patient engagement.
PFPSF's Commitment to Patient Safety
The Patient for Patient Safety Foundation (PFPSF) aims to empower patients, healthcare providers, patient support groups, corporations, and caregivers to engage in their healthcare journeys proactively.'¯
By providing a neutral forum for the patient community to 'Elevate their Voice' and share valuable insights with their caregivers, PFPSF seeks to reduce avoidable harm and promote patient safety.