Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual recognition event that is intended to encourage everyone to learn more about patient safety and recognize the work being done to keep our patients safe in and out of the healthcare setting.
At Iowa Specialty Hospitals, patient safety is our #1 priority. A dedicated interdisciplinary team meets monthly to review patient safety items such as falls, medication errors, infections, and other adverse events that impact patient safety along with the safety of our visitors and employees. We monitor for trends and if a trend is identified, a corrective action plan is put into place. Individual events are tracked electronically and followed up on by department leaders. In clinical areas, a shift-to-shift safety huddle is held to review any patient safety concerns and provides an opportunity for staff to bring forth identified safety concerns and awareness.
The use of electronics in healthcare has had significance in improving patient safety that ISH has embraced this in numerous ways. One of the ways is the use of electronic medication dispensing devices and utilization of the electronic health record to decrease medication errors. Medication errors are among the most common errors to occur in inpatient and outpatient settings in healthcare; not all errors result in death, but it is reported that 400,000 deaths per year in the United States happen due to medication errors. In addition to electronic devices, hardwired processes such as intake of current medications when seeing the provider in the clinic or being admitted to the hospital, increase medication safety.
Everyone interacts with the healthcare system at some point in their life, and everyone has a role to play in advancing safe healthcare. At Iowa Specialty Hospital, we continue to explore and implement ways to improve our patients’ safety.