Hospitals Highlight Patient Safety Week
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“Alabama’s hospitals are joining thousands of hospitals nationwide this week in celebrating National Patient Safety Week, March 11 – 17,” said Donald E. Williamson, MD, president of the Alabama Hospital Association. “It’s a great time to talk about the things being done to ensure optimal care in the safest environment, as well as to encourage patients and their families to become more active in their care.”
Williamson notes there are several ways consumers of hospital care can find information about the care they are receiving and become more engaged in it.
“For the past 13 years, the federal government has been reporting hospital-specific quality information on a site called Hospital Compare,” said Williamson. “In order to make the information easier to find, our Association has developed a website with a link to the data, along with a link to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s hospital infection report. The site, JointheHealthJourney.com, also provides lists of questions for patients to ask their caregivers, suggestions of ways they can help prevent the spread of infections and other tools patients can use to help ensure safer care.”
“Our hospitals work extremely hard every day to provide the best care possible,” added Williamson. “In fact, in the latest statewide hospital infection report, Alabama’s hospitals performed better than the nation in all four categories of infections reported. However, he adds that there’s always work to be done.”
In talking about the ongoing work of the Association, Williamson discussed the five-year project called the Partnership for Patients through which hospitals are voluntarily sharing data and best practices in almost 20 areas including falls prevention, early detection of blood stream infections and other improvement initiatives. “For example, we’re working with physicians and pharmacists to identify patterns of antibiotic resistance and ensure appropriate dispensing of antibiotics and are connecting with other community providers to ensure a smooth discharge from the hospital and to avoid a readmission.”
For more information on patient safety, visit www.jointhehealthjourney.com and click on “Quality Reports” and “Your Role.”