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All You Need to Know About the Centre’s New Proposal to Protect Our Medical History

This National Patient Safety Implementation Framework will protect the medical data of information on all levels including data sought for administering an injection, medication, blood tests, medical device, bio-waste management or infection tests.

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In a move to protect a patient’s personal and medical history, the Centre has proposed a new law which will make sensitive health information inaccessible in the public domain.

This National Patient Safety Implementation Framework will protect the medical data of information on all levels including data sought for administering an injection, medication, blood tests, medical device, bio-waste management or infection tests.

medical history- special law
Representational Image. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The idea is to avoid unsafe clinical practices and tackle loopholes in inadequate systems and processes.

Here’s all you need to know about this special law:

  • While conducting procedures related to blood, the Ministry is strictly incorporating pharmacovigilance.
  • Ensuring safety of healthcare workers, Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) related to surveillance of adverse blood reactions, disposal of discarded blood and consumables have to be developed or revised. The disposal procedure has to abide by the Biomedical Waste (BMW) rules.
  • All medical devices other than syringes and plastic waste will come under the BMW rules, to ensure medical device safety.
  • The draft proposes that biomedical engineers have to be involved in the continuous maintenance of medical equipment, right from installation till the equipment is used. These Biomedical Engineers come under the full-time employee payroll, as most of the deaths in coronary care unit (CCU) occur due to machine failure which can be avoided if the machines are under strict surveillance, reported the New Indian Express.
  • The draft highlights that all patient safety processes need to be communicated to patients and caregivers prior, during and after medical procedures or treatment.
  • An online grievance system and toll-free helplines have to be set up to address feedback and issues.
  • The draft also proposes establishing patient groups to ensure involvement and transparency in making and executing new policies.

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  • It has also suggested that a Patient Safety incident surveillance system be established to facilitate an inbuilt system for reporting and learning from unfortunate incidents at all national and subnational healthcare facilities.
  • To better the performance of health-care experts and personnel, and ensure delivery safety, the proposal calls for revision of licensing/certification and recertification standards. It is also planning to dedicate a specific number of credit hours on patient safety to healthcare staff.
  • It aims to establish special committees for the Infection Prevention and Control programme (IPC) at institutional levels and improve Hospital Infection Control Committees.
  • To ensure the effectiveness of IPC programmes at national and institutional levels, it suggests incorporation of sufficient funds for implementation.
  • To ensure safe surgical care, rules call for healthcare facilities to adopt a uniform surgical safety checklist during elective and emergency surgeries at first referral units (FRU).
  • Appropriate anaesthetic and sterilisation practices have to be adopted at the National Trauma Care and National Burns Programme.
  • To familiarise future caregivers and healthcare personnel, it is asking the MBBS course to incorporate injection safety module.

Some of the other recommendations:

  • Vaccinate all healthcare providers against Hepatitis B in addition and waste handlers with tetanus.
  • Establish hospital performance monitoring and ranking system incorporating patient safety indicators/standards.
  • Develop Standard Operating Procedures for disposal of discarded/expired drugs as per standard guidelines.

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