Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Day After Patient Safety Day

The day, after Patient Safety Day, brings a sense of calm for many who have shed tears that have been shed before, many times. However, common sense tells those of us who have been affected in our life (or the life of a loved one) by a preventable error that every day is Patient Safety Day. This might be the opposite for many who have never experienced a negative outcome as the result of a preventable medical error.

The recent series, by Propublica and the Los Angeles Times, conveys a reality to many readers who are unfamiliar with the truth of that which happens in health care settings, e.g. hospitals. This is not to say all care is substandard, but to speak the truth and state 'mistakes happen and mistakes take lives'.

Patient Safety is serious business . Patients (and their loved ones) must ask questions and become as educated as possible regarding the care that is being delivered. Patients can ask a nurse, or physician, to wash their hands before entering their hospital room, however, this is not true when such as surgical procedures are being conducted. Therefore, patients must trust that providers are implementing safe practices.

Those delivering care must ask themselves, "Is this the care that I would want myself, or loved one, to receive?"

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