Did you know National Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual event intended to encourage everyone to learn more about health care safety? This year National Patient Safety Week occurs March 8–14, and the focus is two-fold: raising awareness about patient safety progress and recognizing the work that still needs to be done. 

Did you know that medical harm is a leading cause of death worldwide? The World Health Organization estimates that 134 million adverse medical events occur each year due to unsafe care in hospitals in low-income and middle-income countries. 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. Unfortunately, that is only part of the problem. Short of death, preventable medical harm can cause long-term effects on a patient’s physical health, emotional health, financial well-being, and family relationships.

Put simply, patient safety is a major public health concern. Every American interacts with the health care system at some point, and everyone can play some role in advancing health care safety. Do you want to get involved? Let us share a few ways you can get involved this Patient Safety Awareness Week in our blog.

1. Take the Pledge. Patient safety advocacy groups encourage both health care professionals and health care consumers to take a pledge to reduce medical harm. We take this very seriously in our law firm as your safety, and ours, is always of paramount importance. The idea is to become more personally aware that each of us can take actions to improve patient safety, whether big or small. 

2. Join the Initiative. Organizations can show their commitment to patient safety by joining the growing list of groups already involved in celebrating and engaging in  Patient Safety Awareness Week. By taking part, organizations across diverse industries can gain access to valuable tools and resources associated with patient research and safety promotion.  Consider recognizing safety-committed team members, as well as, those who display leadership when it comes to patient safety. Also, encourage friends and their family members to use “Ask Me 3,” an educational program designed for patients to become more active members of their health care team.

3. Spread the Word. It is never too early or too late to spread the word about Patient Safety Awareness Week. Consider sharing about it online or on social media. Use the hashtag #PSAW20 this March to connect with others concerned about patient safety.

We know just how important patient safety is at all times. It is just one of the aspects of many within the cases we represent and a topic our legal teams discuss each week. If you or someone you love has been the victim of medical harm, do not wait to learn more about your rights. We encourage you to contact our law firm anytime, 24 hours a day, to schedule a free case evaluation.