Patient Safety Awareness Week is Here
National Patient Safety Awareness Week is this week. The National Patient Safety Foundation designates a week each March to bring added attention to patient safety across the country.
Health Care For All has been involved in patient safety since 2006, bring a consumer perspective to the many patient safety and quality improvement initiatives happening in Massachusetts. One of our major initiatives in recent years has involved working with Patient and Family Advisory Councils (see our PFAC web page) in hospitals across the state as they seek out opportunities to partner with their host facilities to improve care and the care experience.
Many of the PFACs are working on improving patient safety. Some of those initiatives include: working with the hospital on pre-op instructions to patients, assisting staff with post-discharge phone calls to patients and assessing the patients’ discharge experiences, educating patients on how to refill their medications post-discharge, education on how to safely dispose of old or un-used medications, helping to revise discharge surveys and discharge forms, participating in the development of apology and disclosure programs, creating a medication card for elderly individuals to keep track of their meds, and more. Hospitals across the state have recognized the value of including the patient and family voice as they are seeking to improve patient safety. This needs to be a team effort and patients and family members must be valued members of those teams.
We look forward to highlighting many of these team efforts at our next PFAC statewide conference on May 14.
- Deb Wachenheim