Patients and Health Workers’ Engagement in Patient Safety in Healthcare in Kitgum General Hospital
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The delivery of health care is known to involve potential safety risks for the patients who are supposed to benefit from medical treatment and care. Over the years, efforts have been put in place to reduce the occurrence of safety risks and improve on patient quality of care. Both the health care providers and patients have their respective roles to play. Bringing on board patients in efforts to minimise safety risks, also known as patient engagement, proved effective. The objectives of the study were; to ascertain the level of awareness about patient safety in healthcare among patients and health workers, to determine the level of health workers engagement in patient safety in healthcare, assess the level of patient engagement in patient safety, as well as to determine the factors affecting patients and health workers engagement in patient safety in health care in Kitgum General Hospital. This was a descriptive, cross sectional study of patients and health workers’ engagement in patient safety in healthcare in Kitgum General Hospital (KGH). The study took both qualitative and quantitative dimensions. A probability sample of 384 patients was interviewed using structured questionnaires and 103health workers were studied by observation and key informant interviews. Documentation review of previous patient files (50files) was carried out to assess the depth of patient identification, as a measure to minimize medical errors Pre-testing of the questionnaires and training of research Assistants were done prior to the study to ensure quality of the research. Ethical considerations in research were strictly adhered to. The level of awareness about patient safety among patients and health workers was found to be 46.5% and 51% respectively. The level of health workers engagement in patient safety was found to be 51.4% while engagement of patients in patient safety was at 52.1% The factors affecting patients and health workers engagement were mainly demographic factors such as age and level of education, among others. In conclusion, health workers in KGH were 4.5% more aware about patient safety than the patients. However, patients in KGH are 0.7% more engaged in patient safety than the health workers.