This week is National Patient Safety Awareness Week – “awareness” being the key word. Because for all the work the healthcare industry has done in the past decade to improve patient safety, it’s you, the individual, who has perhaps the most important role.
Patient safety is a partnership between healthcare professionals and the people they care for. We want you to feel empowered to ask questions and raise concerns with your clinicians. And you hold the key to your own well-being and safety through a healthy diet and exercise, preventive care and managing chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. The National Patient Safety Foundation
provides resources and information for patients and healthcare consumers to contribute to making healthcare safer. The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
also offers a wealth of information, including tips to help patients ask the right questions of their doctor or nurse.
And NJHA’s Institute for Quality and Patient Safety – which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in working to improve healthcare – has led several initiatives, including statewide efforts to prevent patient falls and reduce infections. In keeping with the “awareness” theme, one of our resources is a medication safety effort called “It’s Your Healthcare: Be Involved,” which helps individuals manage their medications and prevent any unintended drug interactions. You can find out more here
, and even download a personal medication safety card.
This year’s observance of Patient Safety Awareness Week officially ends March 10, but the work does not. We encourage you to be a partner with your healthcare provider in promoting safer, better healthcare.