Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual recognition event intended to encourage everyone to learn more about health care safety. This week serves as a dedicated time and platform for promoting patient safety awareness, recognizing the work already being done, and advancing goals for improving patient safety into the future.
During this week, the Patient Safety Teams of Synensys® strive to advance important discussions and inspire action to improve the safety within health care systems — for our patients, their families, and our workforce.
Michelle Axelson, Synensys Interim Patient Safety Program Manager, shared, “Months of preparation and planning goes into the execution of Patient Safety Awareness Week. Patient Safety Professionals work tirelessly to increase knowledge across the spectrum, and this week offers a special opportunity to celebrate the culture of safety that exists in each Military Treatment Facility. Patient Safety Specialists are an exceptional group of professionals, and their commitment to enhancing safe care is inspiring.”
Why Focus on Safety in Healthcare?
Although there has been real progress made in patient safety over the past two decades, current estimates cite medical harm as a leading cause of death worldwide.
The World Health Organization estimates that 134 million adverse events occur each year due to unsafe care in hospitals in low- and middle-income countries, resulting in some 2.6 million deaths. Additionally, some 40 percent of patients experience harm in ambulatory and primary care settings with an estimated 80 percent of these harms being preventable, according to WHO.
Some studies suggest that as many as 400,000 deaths occur in the United States each year as a result of errors or preventable harm. Not every case of harm results in death, yet they can cause long-term impact on the patient’s physical health, emotional health, financial well-being, or family relationships.
Preventing harm in health care settings is a public health concern. Everyone interacts with the health care system at some point in life. And everyone has a role to play in advancing safe health care.
Dr. Daniel Wyman, Synensys Chief Medical Officer shared, “While the delivery of safe and effective quality care is the mission of every healthcare professional with every encounter, Patient Safety Awareness Week provides us the opportunity to perhaps pause and take a moment to recognize our Patient Safety Professionals and celebrate the accomplishments of the entire team as we all strive for ZERO preventable harm!”