Patient Safety Awareness Week
by guest author: Brooke Kerwin
Attention in the health care and medical industry has been focused this week, as Patient Safety Awareness Week is taking place throughout the United States. Lasting from March 4-10 and led by the National Patients Safety Foundation, the theme for 2012 is “Be aware for safe care.” The week is aiming to highlight awareness from all parties in an effort to improve safety for patients and coming together on efforts to improve visibility.
One of the highlights of this year’s Patient Safety Awareness Week will be the establishment of a board certification which will serve to acknowledge patient safety as an official field within the medical community. The requirements to receive a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) credential have been in development for nearly a year now.
Aside from establishing the new credential in patient safety, the week will also celebrate the launch of an online curriculum for patient safety. The curriculum will serve to provide ease of access to a number of important principles, general knowledge and credentials relating directly to patient safety. The online curriculum will serve as a self-use type guide, meaning that you can go at your own pace in learning important principles about patient safety.
The curriculum itself consists of ten different sections and was started by Lucian Leape MD, who completed the foreword. It will serve as an option for those who are generally interested in information about patient safety, as well as those looking for initial resources to prepare themselves to try and get certification.
National Patient Safety Awareness Week has worked since 2002 to try and involve different medical organizations to help raise the conscious of patient safety. This effort has stretched from both a local level onto a larger role in its nearly 10 years of existence so far. On the local level, hospitals and health care locations are planning their own spin on awareness week by having different styles of events and information sessions throughout the week.
In Pennsylvania, there has been heavy attention and hype focused on NPSA week in 2012. The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority has been a large backer of the week, by increasing communication about what’s going on with both local health care professionals, as well as other patients. There is hope that patient safety awareness week can increase in attention just as other causes such as distracted driving and medical malpractice have picked up in the past few years.
While a number of health care resources around the country already put a lot of time and effort into NPSA Week, there is hope that this awareness and recognition can really begin to take off. Organizers would love to see the attention paid throughout Pennsylvania be equaled in other states across the nation. Even as patient safety and awareness is starting to grow, there is still plenty of time to educate yourself and spread the word to help keep knowledge of this safety at a maximum.
About the guest author
Brooke Kerwin is a recent graduate from Central Michigan University looking to excel in creative writing post-college. Her writing topics often span subjects such as community and health issues, as well as technology. Brooke has taken specific interest in patient safety because of past experiences with family members in the hospital and the growing importance of awareness on the subject.