Patient Safety Awareness Week lead by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) is from March 4 to March 10, 2012. This year the theme is Be Aware for Safe Care, focusing health care professionals on patient safety and how to improve it as well as well as offering info to consumers.
Be Aware for Safe Care
This year Patient Safety Awareness Week is marked by the introduction of a new board certification. The Certified Professional in Patient Safety credential (CPPS) is defined by the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety (CBPPS). The certification recognizes patient safety as a critical field of medicine.
According to their website, president of NPSF Diane C. Pinakiewicz said patient safety has evolved into an important and distinct health care discipline practiced by a committed and diverse workforce. Pinakiewicz said, “It is gratifying to have the certification board establish core standards and expected levels of proficiency for the field.”
For the first time on March 5, 2012, the will be an evidence-based board exam offered for the CPPS credential. Candidates must demonstrate understanding and knowledge of a range of topics related to patient safety. They may come from any area of health care. To find out more about board certification in patient safety, visit the CBPPS website.
Patient Safety Curriculum
To support ongoing education of health care providers, NPSF has also launched a comprehensive online Patient Safety Curriculum. It offers foundational knowledge about the patient safety discipline and how to apply these principles in everyday practice.
The curriculum has a foreword by Lucian Leape, MD and is organized into 10 modules. Distinguished faculty deliver the patient safety lectures. The course is self-paced and offers continuing education credits. It can also be used in preparation for people who plan to take the board certification exam.
Topics covered in the Patient Safety Curriculum include patient-centered care and patient engagement. Pinakiewicz indicated patient engagement was one of the most important chances to improve the safety of patient care.
Patient Education Program for Patient Safety Awareness Week
Also for Patient Safety Awareness Week, NPSF is releasing a new patient education program video. It is derived from the Ask Me 3 program. It facilitates patient engagement through better communication with providers.
The program encourages patients to ask and comprehend the answers to three relevant questions. The first is to question what the main problem is. The second is finding out what the patient needs to do. The third is asking why it is important to do it. This essential video is available for free at the NPSF website.
Universal Patient Compact and Twitter Chat
Every year during Patient Safety Awareness Week, the NPSF reaffirms the Universal Patient Compact and it is doing so in 2012. It speaks to the important of partnering between patients and health care providers.
Providers and patients are invited to participate in a Twitter chat hosted by NPSF on Wednesday, March 7 at 1 PM ET. To join the conversation, participants use the hashtag #PSAW2012. During the chat, NPSF staff will answer questions, provide links to resources and give tips.
NPSF has lead health care organizations worldwide in recognizing Patient Safety Awareness Week since 2002. The campaign for consciousness-raising and education is to improve patient safety locally. Health care organizations are encouraged to plan events within their own organizations.
Pinakiewicz said, “We hope that the activities we have planned and the resources we make available will encourage providers, patients and the general public to recognized Patient Safety Awareness week and consider their roles in this important endeavor.”
About the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF)
NPSF was founded in 1997 with the singular mission of improving the safety of care provided to patients. They are a voice for patient safety. NPSF defined groundbreaking programs to boost positive change with the goal of improved patient safety. They offer information resources, tools and tactics to help all levels of health care professionals.
The NPSF definition of patient safety is the prevention of healthcare errors and elimination of mitigation of patient injury caused by healthcare errors. Below is a video about NPSF and Patient Safety Awareness Week 2012.
VA Promotes Patient Safety Awareness Week
Health care organizations across the nation are supporting Patient Safety Awareness Week. Commercial News reports patient safety manager at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System, Sandy Hart, said “We're trying to empower the patient to ask about his care. We're trying to engage the patient as well as make sure their care is safe.”
Education resources will be displayed for hospital staff and patients. Hart said they are trying to engage everyone including patients, families and the community. Tips from Hart include patient participation in all decisions about treatment, knowing what a prescribed medicine is for and its side effects, informing doctors about allergies as well as medications (OTC and prescribed) and supplements taken and throwing out old medications.
Hart also advised patients to ask about test results, understand surgery and procedures, get copies of healthcare records, carry names and numbers of health care providers and pharmacies and bring a family member or friend who can ask questions.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons