If you work in healthcare, you probably know that March 10-16th is Patient Safety Awareness Week, an annual recognition event intended to encourage everyone to learn more about healthcare safety. If you don’t work in healthcare, you should still care about patient safety because we all interact with the system at some point. AzHHA holds safety as one of our top public health concerns – safety for patients and the workforce.
Although there has been real progress made in patient safety over the past two decades, current estimates place harm as a leading cause of death worldwide. Errors and safety lapses can occur in any setting and take many forms.
The top 10 patient safety concerns are:
- Diagnostic errors
- Opioid safety across the continuum of care
- Care coordination within a setting
- Incorporating health IT into patient safety programs
- Management of behavioral health needs in acute care settings
- All-hazards emergency preparedness
- Device cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization
- Patient engagement and health literacy
- Leadership engagement in Patient safety
Nationally, hospitals and health systems employ a variety of approaches to patient safety and quality that stimulate and expedite improvement efforts. Over the past decade, hospitals and health systems significantly reduced the incidence of many hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) and healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), reduced avoidable readmissions, dramatically reduced early-elective deliveries, and improved outcomes for stroke and heart attack victims.
Further, patients have reported more favorable experiences with their hospital. Patient perception of the care experience is critical to quality improvement efforts and a fundamental aspect of quality of care. Evidence shows that improving the patient experience and developing partnerships with patients are linked to improved health outcomes and better quality.
Read more about what AzHHA is doing through our Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) that have resulted in harms being prevented, lives saved and substantial cost savings.
Everyone in the health care process plays a role in delivering safe care. Let us know how Patient Safety Awareness Week is being recognized in your community. Is there more that we can do to highlight the importance of this issue in Arizona? If so, how can we do it? Working together with our partners to ensure that patient safety is a top priority is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!