The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority is partnering with Quality Insights of Pennsylvania (QIP) and consumer groups statewide to raise awareness of patient safety issues during Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 6-12). "Patient Safety Awareness Week is a perfect time for healthcare providers, staff and patients, to think about what more can be done to improve patient safety," Fran Charney, director of Educational Programs for the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority said.

"This year the Authority has developed video message links for healthcare providers to review how to prevent wrong-site surgery, healthcare-associated infections and medication errors through verbal orders," she continues. "To reach the consumer, the Authority provided over 1,500 booklets containing consumer tips to organizations statewide so they can help spread the word to patients and their families about how important it is that they participate in their healthcare."

The message video links are about one minute in length and contain a live person speaking to healthcare providers about the importance of following certain guidelines to prevent wrong-site surgery, healthcare-associated infections and medication errors through the use of verbal orders. The consumer tip sheets cover a variety of topics that include:

  • Knowing the difference between do-not-resuscitate orders and a living will.
  • Medication errors.
  • Falls.
  • Infections.
  • Color-coded wristbands.
  • The importance of knowing your medical history.

Each day during Patient Safety Awareness Week, the Authority will send an email to healthcare providers highlighting one of the prevention topics. "It's a great effort being made by the Authority and QIP to help each other reach a broader audience with the educational materials we're each providing for Patient Safety Week," Charney said. "Healthcare facilities are encouraged to work together to solve patient safety issues

Patient Safety Awareness Week is a national observance sponsored by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) as an education and awareness-building campaign for improving patient safety at the local level. The theme for this year's commemoration is "Are you in? Involved. Informed. Invested."