Patient Safety Awareness Week began yesterday, with more than 500 individuals having already taken the patient safety pledge. This week is a central part of the National Patient Safety Foundation’s United for Patient Safety campaign. It serves as dedicated time and a platform to increase awareness about patient safety among health professionals, policy makers, and the public.
But it’s also a time to celebrate some of the small wins along the way and the people who are working to advance patient safety in their organizations and in their communities.
So far we are seeing lots of creative ideas from many people and organizations, including
- CHI St. Vincent Hospital in Arkansas is celebrating safety catches, sharing social media posts, and hosting safety coach crossword and other contests.
- The 579th Medical Group at AFMS-Joint Base Anacastia-Bolling is also promoting safety via games, contests, and “room of horrors” in which staff can identify the safety lapses.
- Dawn Evans, MSN, RN, patient safety officer at Barton Memorial Hospital (NV) and a member of the American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety at NPSF, compiled tips for patients, and published a commentary in her local paper.
- The staff of AFMC Surgeon General donned hospital gowns in solidarity with patients and the We are all patients tactic of the United for Patient Safety Campaign.
Why should you be involved? A conservative estimate is that medical error causes the deaths of 44,000 to 98,000 hospital patients a year – some estimates put the rate much higher. Despite some progress, the latest estimate from AHRQ is that 1 in 10 hospitalized patients experiences a hospital-acquired condition, such as a pressure ulcer or infection.
We want to hear what you are doing to recognize Patient Safety Awareness Week. Visit www.unitedforpatientsafety.org and let us know!