From March 12 to March 18, the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) is sponsoring Patient Safety Awareness Week. The theme for 2017’s campaign is United for Patient Safety to highlight and reinforce that everyone within the healthcare industry has a role to play in keeping patients safe and free from harm. The annual Patient Safety Awareness Week campaign is a vehicle to recognize that one in ten patients develop an acquired condition during hospitalization and that medical error causes between 44,000 to 98,000 patient deaths each year.
As a healthcare professional, you can get as involved as you want in the awareness campaign. One of the first things you can do is sign up to volunteer and join the United for Patient Safety email list here. Another way to show your emblematic support is by taking an online Pledge for Patient Safety. By signing, you are pledging to strive to implement and follow practices that increase the safety of your patients and your team. You can also purchase safety campaign materials or participate in campaign discussion forums where you can join other professionals and share your expertise on patient safety issues. While you are online checking your Twitter feed, be sure to follow #UnitedForPatientSafety to see the latest tweets and information about Patient Safety Week activities.
Additionally, there are educational resources available to highlight patient safety issues and also provide interested advocates with data and information about this issue impacting all of us in the healthcare industry. One such resource is a report produced by a panel of experts convened by the NPSF that resulted in eight recommendations for government, industry regulators, health professionals and organizations that can result in higher levels of patient safety.
- Ensure that leaders establish and sustain a culture of safety.
- Create centralized oversight of patient safety.
- Reflect meaningful outcomes through a common set of metrics.
- Increase funding for research in patient safety.
- Ensure safety is addressed across the entire care continuum.
- Support the healthcare workforce
- Partner with patients and families.
- Ensure that new technology is safe and optimized for patient safety.
The recommendations provided by the panel outline a framework for activities over the next fifteen years to help drive improvements in patient safety. What do you see happening over the next fifteen years that will have a positive impact on patient safety? Is patient safety awareness a focus in your workplace? Share your thoughts on this important topic in the comment section below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.