North Adams, MA, May 16, 2008 - “Socius” is the Latin word for “partner.” The National Patient Safety Foundation Socius Award is given in recognition of work that promotes positive and effective partnering between patients and families and providers in pursuit of improved patient safety. Such work must have at its core the recognition of the importance of patient and family centered care and the critical role that patients and families play in the development and implementation of patient safety solutions. Additionally, the work must recognize the positive contributions of providers in the creation of effective partnerships. The recipient of this year’s Socius Award is Dr. Saul Weingart.
Dr. Weingart is receiving this award in recognition of his work with research collaborators and colleagues at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he plays a critical role in describing and demonstrating the value that patients and families can bring when they work together with clinicians to address patient safety. Dr. Weingart’s work began with a series of research studies to understand the capacity of patients to recognize medical errors. His translation of research findings into patient safety and quality improvement initiatives is of particular note, as is the manner in which Dr. Weingart includes the patient and family perspective in all of his program designs.
Under Dr. Weingart’s leadership MedCheck, the You CAN program and a medication reconciliation process in ambulatory oncology have all led to significantly improved patient and family engagement and partnership with providers. The MedCheck program sends messages to patients 10 days after they have received new or modified prescriptions and asks them if they have filled the prescriptions or had any problems with them. The You CAN program encourages patients to check to be sure that their medications are correct; to ask clinicians about having washed their hands; and to bring to the attention of the staff any last minute changes in their treatments. The medication reconciliation work done with his team has helped patients understand and participate in this important process and recognize the importance of updating their medication lists prior to appointments with their clinicians. The results of these projects speak to their effective design and implementation, in every instance enhanced by the commitment to partnering with patients and families expressed in the research, design and implementation of the work.
The National Patient Safety Foundation® (NPSF) is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving patient safety and reducing medical errors through research, education and dissemination of programs. It is an unprecedented partnership of stakeholders working together to raise awareness and improve the safety of the health care system. The NPSF was founded in 1997 by the American Medical Association, CNA HealthPro, and 3M, with significant support from the Schering-Plough Corporation. For more information, visit www.npsf.org.