March 05, 2009 | | Comments 0
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Patient Safety Awareness Week starts March 8th

Patient Safety Awareness Week logoAs many of you may know, Patient Safety Awareness Week is coming up, beginning on Sunday March 8 and running through Saturday March 14. This annual observance, sponsored by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), serves as a great opportunity for hospitals to not only offer unique and creative patient safety-related programming, but it provides a chance for hospital staff members to connect with the outside community to emphasize patient safety.

This year’s theme, “A Prescription for Patient Safety: One Partnership, One Team” highlights this need to better involve patients in their own care. If you visit the NPSF’s Patient Safety Awareness Week web site, you’ll find a host of suggested activities for patients, staff members, and other community members to take part in as a means of building awareness about patient safety topics. The NPSF also just announced the release of a Universal Compact, which is aims to foster clearer lines of communications among patients and their clinicians.

“The Universal Patient Compact is an evolution of the concept of the Patient’s Bill of Rights,” said Diane Pinakiewicz, MBA, president of the NPSF in an interview. “It will focus on the patient and provider working together as a team. We want to get the patient’s voice inside the provider team, and build a partnering between the parties.”

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has also released some helpful reminders specifically for those people visiting hospitalized patients in honor of the week. Some of these include:

  • Sanitize hands before and after your visit
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Before you bring the kids, flowers, or food, check to make sure they are allowed
  • Don’t contribute to the clutter by bringing unnecessary personal items

Click here to find the full list.

I know lots of facilities use Patient Safety Awareness Week as a chance to host hospitalwide events that focus on keeping patients safe and engage both staff members and community members in creative ways. What is your hospital doing? What have you been a part of in the past as far as event programming?

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Filed Under: Patient Safety


Heather Comak About the Author: Heather Comak is the Assistant Director of the Association for Healthcare Accreditation Professionals and a Managing Editor at HCPro, Inc., where she is the editor of the monthly publication Briefings on Patient Safety. Contact Heather by e-mailing her at

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