This week has been designated “National Patient Safety Week”. It is near and dear to my heart. All week long there have been reports and posts from many organizations. Some of my favorite advocates have written moving and mindful articles about this most important subject. That being said, where exactly are we in the ‘State of Healthcare’ as it relates to patient safety?
To sum up my thoughts from this week I am posting a few links:
“Posts from Pronovost” drove the point home when he discussed courage. He described the first time a famous singer, Susan Boyle, walked onto a stage in the UK. He states that she was “wearing a frumpy dress, over weight and awkward”. I had never seen the performance of this amazing woman. I admittedly felt uncomfortable watching the video clip, especially as the people in the audience mocked her. Finally she did what she knew she could do, she used her voice and Everything changed in a few seconds. I found myself sitting in front of my computer with tears rolling down my face. Her courage was remarkable and as many of you know she went on to become famous in her own right.
We all have a voice. Sometimes we are afraid to use it until something or someone inspires us to do so.
Ten years ago The Joint Commission began a campaign called, “Speak Up!”
It has grown and become familiar in the hospital setting. What amazed me then and now is that so many patients and families do not realize or understand it IS OK to ask questions. Everyone benefits and outcomes can be improved with patients and families being part of the healthcare team.
It is OK to be a partner in your own healthcare and OK to ask hospital staff to wash their hands. It is also OK to ask a doctor what medicine is being prescribed for you, what side effects to watch for, and when to call for help. The Joint Commission has a poster for children in their campaign (see link above) encouraging children to ASK questions.
Even as this information on advocacy and making hospitals safer has been in the forefront of the healthcare media, the CDC posted its ‘Vital Signs’ Report on the ever growing threat of Clostridium Difficile.
For those of you who do not know what Clostridium Difficile is – it will be well worth your time to check out the link and educate yourself about the threat of this little infectious monster. The report indicates the pathogen is not just in Acute Care Hospitals, but in Physician Offices, Long Term Care Facilities i.e. Nursing Homes and Out Patient Surgery Centers. These are places we all visit at one time or another. It puts us all at risk.
So what do we say?
WE continue to use our voices to gain traction, start the snowball and get the word out. We have products at Midbrook Medical that can save lives. Explore the website; watch the video clip of the Tempest in action. Be the Voice in your facility to ask for help… “Speak Up” because it is OK to Ask the hard questions!