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Professional and Consumer Focus Highlight Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 4-10, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012   (0 Comments)
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Boston, Mass. (March 1, 2012)—Health care professionals and consumers alike are the focus as the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) leads Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 4-10, 2012. This year’s theme, Be Aware for Safe Care, calls for all parties in the health care equation to be aware of ongoing efforts to improve patient safety and how they can take part in advancing them.

Be Aware for Safe Care

Health care professionals have always played a lead role in patient safety work. This year, Patient Safety Awareness Week will be marked by the introduction of a new board certification that officially recognizes patient safety as a critical field of medicine. The Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety (CBPPS) has worked for more than a year to define the requirements for the Certified Professional in Patient Safety credential (CPPS), including creating an evidence-based board examination that will be offered for the first time on March 5, 2012.

“Patient safety has evolved to become a distinct and important health care discipline practiced by a diverse and committed workforce,” says Diane C. Pinakiewicz, president of NPSF. “It is gratifying to have the certification board establish core standards and expected levels of proficiency for the field.”

Candidates for certification, who may come from any area of health care, must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a wide range of topics associated with patient safety.

In support of the ongoing education of health care providers, NPSF has also announced the launch of a comprehensive, online Patient Safety Curriculum that provides essential, foundational knowledge about the context, key principles, and competencies associated with the patient safety discipline—and how to apply them in everyday practice. With a foreword by Lucian Leape, MD, the curriculum is organized in 10 modules that feature lectures by distinguished faculty. The self-paced course offers continuing education credits and can serve as preparatory material for those planning to take the exam for board certification.

Among the topics covered in the curriculum are patient-centered care and patient engagement, critical themes of Patient Safety Awareness Week. Pinakiewicz notes that patient engagement presents one of the most important opportunities for improving the safety of care. For Patient Safety Awareness Week, NPSF is releasing a new video derived from its popular Ask Me 3 program, a patient education program that facilitates engagement through improved communication with providers. The program encourages patients to ask, and understand the answers to, three questions: What is my main problem? What do I need to do? Why is it important for me to do this? The video is available at no cost on the NPSF website.

As it has every year during Patient Safety Awareness Week, NPSF recently reaffirmed the Universal Patient Compact, which specifically speaks to the importance of patient-provider partnering.

Patients and providers alike are invited to participate as NPSF hosts a twitter chat about patient engagement on Wednesday, March 7, at 1 pm ET. Use the hashtag #PSAW2012 to join the conversation. NPSF staff will answer questions, offer tips, and provide links to resources.

Since 2002, NPSF has led health care organizations around the world in recognizing Patient Safety Awareness Week, a campaign for education and consciousness-raising to improve patient safety at the local level. Hospitals and health care organizations are encouraged to plan events to promote patient safety within their own organizations. Educational activities focus on helping patients learn how to become involved in their own health care, as well as working with hospitals to build partnerships with their communities.

“We hope that the activities we have planned and the resources we make available will encourage providers, patients, and the general public to recognize Patient Safety Awareness Week and consider their roles in this important endeavor,” Pinakiewicz says.

For more information about Patient Safety Awareness Week, visit

To learn more about the requirements for board certification in patient safety, visit the CBPPS website at

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