Patient safety is no accident (opinion)

Dawn Evans
Guest column

Patient Safety Awareness Week — March 13 through 19 — highlights the daily efforts that go into ensuring patient safety in the healthcare setting. When we talk about patient safety, we’re talking about how hospitals and healthcare organizations protect their patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

Dawn Evans

When you enter a hospital, there are many steps taken to ensure you not only receive the best treatment, but that you are kept safe during your visit. Errors take place in all healthcare settings, and care teams are trained to double and triple check for any errors and have systems in place to make sure errors are minimized.

At Barton, safety is our highest priority, and we constantly evaluate operations to ensure each patient is receiving safe, high-quality care. From the emergency department and our long-term care facility, to outpatient offices and home health, there are programs in place and dedicated team members working in every area and behind the scenes to protect patients and provide transparency.

Hospitals are highly regulated in the interest of safety and transparency. Annual data is analyzed to ensure safety measures minimize risks to patients, reduce infections, prevent readmission to the hospital after a patient goes home, and maintain immunization rates to prevent the spread of disease. Additionally, hospitals are rated on processes of communication between hospital staff, patients, and families, which holds a profound correlation to patient safety.

Barton Health continues to receive high marks in each of those measurements, consistently performing above average compared to hospitals nationwide. This commitment to safety is demonstrated by awards earned by national organizations.

Barton Memorial Hospital has received eight ‘A’ grades for patient safety from the Leapfrog Group since 2016. The grade is derived from assessment data of more than 30 outcomes and process measurements demonstrating better patient outcomes; the result of collaborative, team-driven systems in place at Barton Health that protect patients from harm.

While it’s a hospital’s main focus, patients also have a role in increasing safety in and out of the hospital. Many illnesses and diseases can be prevented or managed with a healthy lifestyle, prioritizing physical and mental health, and by participating in wellness visits and recommended screenings. When getting care in a hospital or clinical setting, provide accurate information about your health and medical history, ask questions to ensure good communication, and remain active in your care and treatment. Of course, always raise safety concerns with your health providers if you feel something should be addressed.

Quality and safety are of utmost importance to our healthcare staff and providers. Patient safety is no accident; and safe, high-quality care remains at the pinnacle of what we do.

Dawn Evans is the Director of Patient Safety at Barton Health. Consistently exceptional care isn’t just our promise; it’s in the proof. For more information on safety and quality measures at Barton, visit

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