Pre-operative checklists are being implemented to cut infection rates
Simple changes to the way patients are cared for in hospital are having a significant impact on infection rates, according to the Scottish Government.
Hospitals are being urged to adopt stricter treatment regimes as a way of cutting hospital deaths by 15% and “adverse incidents” by 30%.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon is highlighting the measures as part of Patient Safety Month.
She visited Stirling Royal Infirmary where infection rates are down.
Prior to adopting a stricter treatment regime, the hospital recorded at least one incident per month where a patient who required a “central line” tube for food or medication, suffered from bacterial infection.
However, NHS Forth Valley said new procedures had resulted in no cases of infection being recorded since January last year.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon finds out more about two pilot projects at NHS 24 – a British Sign Language (BSL) Breathing Space service and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) telephony service.
The Breathing Space BSL internet service is due to launch shortly and will give BSL users access to Breathing Space counselling via secure webcam. Breathing Space offers support to people suffering from depression or feeling down. The CBT service is being piloted in five health boards and is designed to offer better access to psychological therapies across Scotland, particularly in remote and rural areas.
NHS 24’s Chairman, Allan Watson, said: “NHS 24 delivers a vital and valuable health advice and information service to the Scottish public. There have been many positive developments within NHS 24 in the last year, including the launch of the CBT and BSL pilots.
The CBT service is being piloted in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Shetland, NHS Borders, NHS Western Isles and NHS Lothian.
Scotland has around 6,000 people whose first language is British Sign Language.
Almost all of Scotland’s GP practices now have electronic links to community pharmacies in the first system of its kind in the UK.
The electronic Acute Medication Service (eAMS) allows prescriptions to be transmitted directly, cutting down on paperwork and reducing risk of error.
Patients are still given paper prescriptions but these contain a unique barcode.
This brings up their details when scanned by a pharmacist.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “We have a very successful prescribing system in Scotland, with around one million paper prescriptions written by GPs every week and dispensed in community pharmacies.
“But we can always do more and that’s what eAMS will achieve.”