Patient Safety Challenges

November 6, 2019 Polly Kirk

A person in pain seeks medical attention from a hospital or clinic. But, who mitigates the daily pains experienced by healthcare organisations? 

As a global patient safety software provider, RLDatix knows that ensuring the best safety practices and standards in healthcare can be a challenging (and sometimes painful) task. To provide an optimal level of care, healthcare organisations must gather insight from previously reported adverse events and risks, involve staff and patients in a culture of safety, and constantly improve their practices.

The new NHS Patient Safety Strategy identified these three actions — insight, involvement and improvement — as overarching pillars of care. 

But, fulfilling these pillars can be challenging. We’ve identified some areas of difficulty and uncertainty that can arise while maintaining a culture of safety.

Understanding Risk

In healthcare, risks are unavoidable and managing them needs to be business as usual.

Learning about the specific risks that occur at all levels of your organisation, from each department to every service, can help reduce the number of adverse events experienced by patients and staff members. Additionally, being transparent about risks builds trust with community members, employees and key stakeholders.

Acknowledging that risks exist is a start, but knowing how to profile, track, monitor, manage and prioritise them can be difficult to navigate. 

Yet, these actions are essential to increase visibility and oversight of error-prone practices, as well as develop strategies to mitigate risk prevalence.

Incident Forms

Resolving an adverse event should take priority, not the process of reporting it. But, all too often, undue effort is spent creating and filling out an incident form.

Forms that can’t be easily modified to capture specific issues are restricting.

When reporting becomes too difficult and time consuming, frontline staff are less inclined to do so, which reduces transparency and the opportunity for an organisation to learn from their mistakes.

Being Better with Data

The data collected from adverse events, patient feedback, claims and mortality reviews, along with other assessments, can be time consuming and lack of consistency in data capture can lead to unreliable reporting, causing a loss of faith in the data. Yet, it doesn’t have to be.

While data can be used to evaluate the success of a program or practice, it can also predict future outcomes and trends.

An increasingly important way to benefit from your data is to benchmark it. Internally, departments can compare their results with one another and scores from past performances to assess progress. Externally, sharing data with other organisations strengthens your sustainability and transformation partnerships and provides an idea of how your organisation compares to others.

Without the proper tools to organise, visualise or benchmark your data, you won’t be able to draw actionable insights that could be the difference between a “requires improvement” and “outstanding” Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating.

Adaptive System & Timely Support

Using a one-size-fits-all system to capture and store data isn’t ideal, as every healthcare organisation encounters different issues at varying degrees.

Operating a rigid system that can’t be modified to fit your individual needs or requires a complete overhaul and extensive technical support to do so, creates inconvenient barriers.

Should those systems not cooperate or go awry, finding reliable support can be tricky and spending additional money for the fixes isn’t feasible.


As much as RLDatix understands patient safety, we also know that the best way to share ideas and learn new ones is to engage with others just like you.

Isolation doesn’t drive innovation. Rather, engaging with a community of industry professionals who can counter your troubles with problem-solving tips, can help you get the most out of your system and promote a culture of learning.

The solution we prescribe to mitigate these pains includes cultivating an organisational culture that encourages engagement, and implementing a flexible system that captures information, provides feedback and offers reliable support. 

Our system, DatixCloudIQ (DCIQ), helps push patient safety to the forefront and safeguards against error-prone practices being overlooked or repeated.

Learn more here about how DCIQ will help counteract these pains and help you provide safer, better care. 

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