Safety fair highlights practices that reduce medical errors

Trinity Health will observe National Patient Safety Week with a Patient Safety Fair for staff and the public March 13-15 in the Trinity Hospital and Trinity Hospital – St. Joseph’s skywalks, according to a press release from Trinity.

Patient Safety Week focuses the nation’s attention on reducing medical errors by adopting specific care practices – namely the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals.

Amy Swearson, RN, Standards Coordinator in the Clinical Excellence & Patient Safety Department, says Trinity’s observance will feature informational booths, games, and learning stations that highlight the Patient Safety Goals, along with the steps Trinity Health has taken to implement them.

“Maintaining the highest patient safety standards is central to everything we do at Trinity; they’re part of our culture,” Swearson said in the press release. “It isn’t just a matter of knowing the standards, it’s tracking and monitoring our progress and then, most importantly, building a culture of safety by encouraging health professionals to speak up if they see safety gaps.”

Two goals that have had a national impact in reducing medical errors are preventing infections and using medicines safely, according to the press release. Swearson says specific practices used at Trinity Health include strict observance of hand washing/disinfecting guidelines, safe insertion of central line catheters, and administering antibiotics to surgical patients at just the right time. In addition, Trinity long ago implemented a strong medication safety program, with barcoded medications, computerized order entry to eliminate handwriting errors, and adherence to the five rights of medication safety.

She adds that the public is welcome to view the exhibits, especially since one of the patient safety initiatives involves educating patients to feel comfortable speaking up and asking questions about their care.

The patient safety fair will be held at the following times and locations: Tuesday, March 13th, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., TH-St. Joseph’s/HC-Medical Arts Skywalk; Wednesday, March 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Trinity Hospital Skyway; and Thursday, March 15, 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., Trinity Hospital Skyway.