Patient Safety Week Focuses on Culture & Engagement, Twitter Event Today

This whole week is Patient Safety Week, organized by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and supported by the National Patient Safety Foundation (which merged with the IHI in 2017. Healthcare Simulation has a direct improvement to Patient Safety Outcomes, as key industry studies have shown in some cases an 88% reduction in lethal infections while reducing costs 7:1. The Healthcare Simulation community must continue to build lasting partnerships with Patient Safety Movements, as the two groups share the same mission.

Despite progress in patient safety over the years, studies suggest that medical error and preventable harm remain major sources of injury and death among patients. A recent national survey conducted by the IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago found that 1 in 5 people reportedly experienced a medical error in their own care, and one-third reported an error in the care of a close relative or friend. Of those who experienced errors, 73 percent said the error had a long-term or permanent impact on the patient’s physical health, emotional health, financial well-being, or family relationships. Nearly half of those who say they experienced a medical error spoke up about it to a medical professional or someone else on the staff of the facility where they received care. Of those who did not speak up, most said they did not think it would do any good or they did not know how to report the error.

“Making sure patients and families feel that it’s okay to speak up and ask questions is really a critical element in patient safety,” said Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, Chief Clinical and Safety Officer, IHI. “Even health professionals sometimes fear speaking up, and that’s directly tied to the culture of the organization in which they work. In order to improve, health care organizations need to see flaws or gaps in safety, encourage people to report problems when they see them, and take action to correct them.”


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On Friday, March 16, from 12 Noon to 1:00 pm Eastern Time, IHI (@TheIHI) will host a Twitter Chat: Building a Safety Culture. Governmental, advocacy, and professional organizations and individuals will share questions, challenges, and strategies to advance a safety culture in health care. All are invited to participate by using the event hashtag #PSAW18. Throughout the week, IHI is encouraging those taking part in the event to share their activities on social media and on the event website, www.unitedforpatientsafety.org, where they can take a pledge for patient safety, get ideas for engaging staff and patients, download free resources, order branded materials, or honor a loved one touched by medical harm.

The 2018 IHI/NPSF event is May 23rd-25th in Boston.

Additional Resources:

Center for Patient Safety Awareness Toolkit


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United for Patient Safety Resources

Learn more on the IHI Patient Safety Webpage!


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