By request of American Data Network Patient Safety Organization, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe issued a proclamation naming March 3 – 9, 2013, Patient Safety Awareness Week in Arkansas.  In the proclamation, Gov. Beebe encouraged all Arkansans to work together to improve patient care in Arkansas and across the nation.

“Patient safety is central to top-quality health care in our Nation and our State, and the key to improving patient safety is understanding the underlying causes of errors, learning from reported errors, and working to eliminate conditions that contribute to preventable errors,” Beebe said in the proclamation. “Increased improvement in patient safety can be achieved by promoting the widespread sharing of best practices within the health care industry, as well as by continuous communication between patients and caregivers,” he added.

Patient Safety Awareness Week provides an opportunity for hospitals to get creative when it comes to helping clinicians focus on the challenges that accompany the push to improve patient safety.  Last year, as part of the annual campaign, promoted by the National Patient Safety Foundation,  one inaugural member of the ADN PSO, White County Medical Center, set up a “Patient Safety Room” staged with multiple safety violations to help staff hone their abilities to spot unsafe conditions.  The hospital used a mannequin as a patient and then simulated an array of safety violations including: a missing id bracelet; an incorrect armband on the patient; an IV site unlabeled or off pump, and running free flow; an empty hand sanitizer bottle; a raised bed with safety rails down; unlabeled meds; a urinal placed on the over-bed table; a syringe, with an exposed needle on the bed; a Foley catheter bag on the bed; and a call light out of reach and on.  The goal of WCMC’s exercise was to address as many National Patient Safety Goals as possible.

To learn more about National Patient Safety Awareness Week and the activities that hospitals, clinicians and patients will be participating in as part of this year’s campaign, click here.