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Oriental Melaka Straits Medical Centre wins Healthcare Asia Awards for quality improvement projects


It has introduced four projects to address patient safety issues after identifying the top-occurring incidents in the hospital.

Oriental Melaka Straits Medical Centre (OMSMC) secured the Patient Safety Initiative of the Year – Malaysia category win at the recently held Healthcare Asia Awards 2024 for its OMSMC Patient Safety Initiative (OPSI) Campaign that aims to address patient safety issues.

This campaign is a product of the hospital’s identification of the top-occurring incidents in its premises. OMSMC has embarked on four quality improvement projects which address incidents and issues pertinent to dispensing error near misses, patient falls, peripheral line complications and contrast extravasation.

The first project aims to reduce the number of dispensing errors near miss. In addition to the use of Tallman lettering, bold font, different-coloured font, highlighting and circling fonts, the Pharmacy department also used bins of different colours to further distinguish between problematic look-alike, sound-alike (LASA) medication.

Moreover, the hospital’s pharmacy staff had also undergone a robust and rigorous retraining programme on the importance of LASA and compliance with existing policies and procedures. Dispensing error near misses was maintained at below 0.1% for the year 2023.

The second project is entitled the Fall or Accident Improvement project, which aims to reduce inpatient falls. This project comes as an alarming percentage of fall incidents in 2022 were attributed to patients falling when attending to their toileting needs.

Fall link nurses were appointed to disseminate the knowledge, perform audits and assist with the initiative. Existing policies and procedures were reviewed, and assessment tools were initiated. Re-education was provided to all staff nurses and the assessment tool was implemented hospital-wide. The results showed a decreasing trend in the rate of patient falls, only recording below 0.2% in 2023.

Meanwhile, the third project aims to address peripheral intravenous (IV) complications. The infection control team revised and reinforced the IV Care Bundle to all nurses, wherein they were re-trained with emphasis on proper care of catheter and introduced to more rigorous audits on all patient care areas, setting a new line for contrast. A unique closed IV catheter system technology was also introduced.

IV Complication rate was maintained below 0.5% throughout the year.

The last project introduced aims to reduce the rate of contrast extravasation, which is also linked to the third project.

Under this project, a team was formed to define distinctive injection rate parameters for different groups of patients, review the use of compatible medical supplies, and immediate removal of dedicated lines used for contrast after the procedure was completed. The project has resulted in zero contrast extravasation cases for the past year.

“This series of quality improvement projects have shown fruition with potential of long-term sustainability. OMSMC has achieved its initial objective to strive for continuous and better patient safety,” the company said.

Healthcare Asia Awards recognises exceptional healthcare providers that have redefined the standards of healthcare through their unwavering dedication to innovation, setting of new industry benchmarks, and substantial contributions to their communities.

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