It should be documented and displayed prominently as an organizational policy and should be included in the patient information brochure for information of patients and public. The policy should convey the management’s determination to ensure safety at all costs. It should include due cognizance to all possible/probable hazards, allocation of necessary resources, testing the plans and perfecting them.
Safety Policy should be an expression of hospital’s commitment to the principle of ‘Safety First and Foremost’, put into practice through measures aimed at assurance of safe and hazard- free operation of facility. Any assurance, however, must be backed by concrete measures and should flow out of sincerity of efforts. Assuring the patients and public of safety without taking the appropriate safety measures may be meaningless and dangerous. Hospital safety policy should, as a matter of fact, go beyond the four walls of the hospital. Being an integral part of the community, the policy should express the commitment to promote safe environment and all other measures including the safe handling/disposal of all hazardous materials, to protect and promote the health of community. The policy should be based on the principle of transparency and honesty. Hospital should take the community leaders into confidence about the existing hazards (without unduly alarming them) and the safety measures adopted for their prevention and control. This may go a long way in enlisting the community’s faith and support.
No policy can be rigid and unchangeable forever. The policy must be reviewed every year in the light of its actual effectiveness as evaluated from time to time on the basis of the hazard potential score. It must involve redeployment of emphasis and resources on the basis of risk assessment carried out from time to time. Success of any safety policy or program lies in the continuity of efforts at further improvement and perfection.
There is no room for complacence. The policy must emphasize the essentiality of progress towards zero defects and must be validated statistically by continuous fall in the incidence of safety violations.