Patient Safety Awareness Week

March 16, 2016

Author: Alison Williams, MHA Vice President of Clinical Quality Improvement

March 13-19 is National Patient Safety Awareness Week. For more than a decade, MHA has supported member hospitals in implementing systems that have proven to protect patients from harm. These systems include, but are not limited to, checklists to safely guide care processes, overhead code and patient wrist band standardization, and implementation of numerous evidence-based best practices in the delivery of care — several examples of this work follow.

Quality care and patient safety is changing in Missouri. While safe, high-quality care has always been the goal of all Missouri hospitals, we’re learning faster through collaboration and sharing patient safety and quality care delivery lessons widely to improve not just inside the hospital walls, but into the community as well.

Hospitals are increasingly turning to patients and families to help with the design and delivery of care to meet patient needs and improve the safety of care both in the hospital and after discharge. Patient safety isn’t just about clinical provider safety — it takes a team. Building efficient supply chain management and equipment safety checks, and preparing for emergency situations play a role in achieving patient safety. The goal is to “get to zero” — zero patient harm events across all member hospitals and practice settings. We get there by implementing highly-reliable processes, decreasing the variation in care delivery, leveraging resources and thinking about how we engage patients and families in self-managing their health — in ways we’ve never considered before. National Patient Safety Week provides a chance to celebrate successes. MHA encourages all member hospitals to take time and recognize your progress; however, it also provides an ongoing challenge — to “get to zero” and see every day as patient safety day.

See how Missouri hospitals are doing at