March 13-19 is this year’s annual Patient Safety Awareness Week, established by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), to encourage learning that improves the safety of the healthcare system — for patients and the workforce.
There are plenty of patient safety issues to address: routine dangers from falls, severe staffing shortages and burnout, and a burgeoning number of hospital associated infections (HAIs). Add to that list a world still struggling to quell the novel coronavirus and the disease it’s caused for more than two years now, COVID-19.
Here are six ways healthcare teams around the globe are spotlighting patient safety issues:
Join the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) on Tuesday, March 15th, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET as it hosts an annual patient safety awareness week webinar.
Dr. Donald Berwick and Dr. Jessica Berwick will a conversation on “sensemaking” during times of uncertainty, complexity, and chaos. This session will provide insights and perspective to reinforce patient and workforce safety in your organization.
Consider signing the United for Patient Safety campaign’s pledge to reduce harm in patient care. Pledges like this one are a reminder of the impact healthcare providers have on the safety of their patients across all levels of care.
Hospital rooms intentionally set up with safety problems can help healthcare workers learn to identify potential mishaps before they happen. It might be a hospital bed safety railing that is not being used, or latex gloves near the bed of a patient with a latex allergy. Maybe a patient’s chart and ID bracelet do not match the drugs being administered on his IV pole. Or there’s an empty hand sanitizer dispenser in the room. Can your healthcare team detect all the safety problems you hide for them? Click here for more information.
Frenchay Brain Injury Unit in Bristol, England hosts a series of themed awareness days that demonstrate what the facility does to keep patients safe. Among the themes are clinical observations, fall prevention, swallowing awareness, sepsis/DVT prevention, and infection control.
Kootenai Health, based in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, recognizes staff who had a recent "Good Catch" in the realm of patient safety, with prizes. The organization hosts the IHI free virtual learning hour and will screen a patient safety documentary. A safety fair and poster contest are also on tap.
6. The Power of Story
Finally, organizing a time for sharing stories of the success you’ve already had with patients is a powerful way to promote patient safety awareness — because this year, perhaps more than ever, healthcare workers are being challenged to step up at a time when they are stretched thin as never before.