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Feature Patient Safety Awareness Week 2018 around the DoD

A dozen members of the Reynolds Army Health Clinic at Fort Sill, Okla. stand behind a “United for Patient Safety” banner. Members of the Reynolds Army Health Clinic at Fort Sill, Okla. show off their United for Patient Safety banner. The Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 11-17, 2018) theme was “United for Patient Safety” because every day is patient safety day.

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Patient Safety Awareness Week was March 11-17, 2018 and offered an opportunity to bring awareness to and recognize the importance of quality care and patient safety throughout the Military Health System. The national campaign helps to unify military treatment facilities around a common theme of patient and health care delivery team engagement and to emphasize the use of leading practices to encourage a consistent delivery of care to service members, veterans and their families no matter where they are in the world. 

The “United for Patient Safety” theme opens the conversation between health care professionals and their patients to unite as members of the patients’ health care team. Together, working as a team, and keeping lines of communication open, both providers and their patients can help to improve the quality and safety of care that is delivered. Across the Department of Defense, Patient Safety Awareness Week celebrations demonstrated the value and importance of providers and patients uniting to collaborate on their care and ensure patient safety is a top priority. 

  • Eisenhower Army Medical Center shared daily high reliability organization tips and posted quiz questions on Facebook.  
  • At the Dental Health Activity (DENTAC) – Italy, staff signed the Pledge for Patient Safety, participated in patient safety themed crosswords, quizzes and other puzzles, and competed to find the most errors in the Patient Safety Room of Doom. The winner found 36 patient safety hazards. 
  • Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center at Fort Meade, Md. displayed patient safety educational tables near facility entrances.  
  • Reynolds Army Health Clinic at Fort Sill, Okla. educated patients on how to be actively involved in their own care. The public relations team was live on Facebook from the lobby where they handed out pill organizers, hand sanitizers and the AskMe3 campaign materials to patients. Children were also involved in the festivities and given patient safety activity booklets and stickers.  
  • Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii posted staff testimonial videos about what patient safety means to them on Facebook.  
  • Naval Health Clinic New England displayed patient safety posters developed by staff.  
  • Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune held several events including staff members re-pledging their commitment to patient safety, staff testing their patient safety knowledge and listening to an inspirational presentation from a father who lost his son due to a medical error.  
  • Air Force 20th Medical Group focused on patient safety with a poster contest and trivia.  
  • Air Force 673d Medical Group at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson hosted a patient safety education fair for patients and staff.  
  • 42d Medical Group at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. shared tips for patients about how to engage with providers. 
  • Walter Reed National Military Medical Center held a code cart review and navigation contest for staff; and poster contest.   

The Department of Defense Patient Safety Program offered a variety of opportunities to be “United for Patient Safety.” These included  

  • “Daily tip e-mails” for patients and health care professionals,  
  • Facebook quiz challenges,  
  • A Joint VA/DoD webinar series featuring patient safety leading practices across the services, and 
  • A DoD PSP webinar highlighting patient safety tools, resources and services available to MHS staff.  

These were just a few of the ways patient safety professionals engaged with their colleagues and learned about leading patient safety practices. Recordings and copies of the presentations for the six DoD webinars hosted during PSAW are available in the Patient Safety Learning Center.  

Additionally, the 2018 Advancement toward High Reliability in Healthcare Awards Program launched during PSAW. There are four areas of discipline recognized by the awards program: patient engagement, health care quality, patient safety, and improved access. Examples of previous award-winning submissions are available on the DoD PSP web site.  

MTF submissions are due by 4 p.m. EDT on Aug. 1, 2018.

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