Due to the aging population, frail elderly people with complex disease will become the most common hospital patients.
“You could say that thanks in part to the safety management system, the ‘dangling fruit’ has been picked, which has led to a significant reduction in preventable deaths,” Wagner says. “But with this demographic evolving, we need to take additional steps to enhance patient safety as best we can.”
One of the recommendations made by NIVEL is to enhance the “signaling function” of nurses. After all, they are the eyes and ears of doctors. With additional training, they should be able to recognize symptoms of infection, sepsis, bleeding complications, and pneumonia sooner after choking.
Esther Corningi is a clinical geriatrician at the Gerwin Bosch Hospital in Den Bosch, specializing in the treatment of elderly people and president of the NVKG professional association. She agrees that additional training to understand the diseases of the elderly is essential.
“Older people often have different symptoms than we are used to. They often have a lower body temperature and they will not always have a fever with an infection, such as pneumonia, as we are used to, but a lower temperature or confusion. If you don’t know it You may long ago miss the signs of infection.”
According to Corningi, doctors should have additional training, not just nurses. “Recently, a geriatrics component has been included as a standard in basic clinician training. But this is not yet the case in follow-up training, for example, a surgeon or pulmonologist. They have now included this in their training plan. Making seniors” .
Another important NIVEL recommendation is that hospitals allow more time and space for team consultations to health care providers. Because older adults have multiple conditions, multiple medical professionals will be involved. Since treating Case A can actually worsen Case B and vice versa, close coordination between specialists can prevent unnecessary complications.
Additionally, Cornegy notes that improving patient safety also depends to a large extent on staffing levels. There has been a severe shortage of nurses for years. “It would be great if nurses could send signals better in the future. However, if they have to monitor too many patients at the same time, there is still a possibility that the signals will be missed.”
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