Patient safety: A carefully curated puzzle (Opinion)

Dawn Evans / Guest column

Patient Safety Awareness Week — March 12 through 18 — is a time to recognize the daily efforts that go into ensuring patient safety in the healthcare setting and the teams who provide quality care for patients while keeping them safe from harm. 

Safety is the priority of all health care professionals, along with non-clinical staff, volunteers,  patients, and families –– we all are pieces of the puzzle when it comes to health care safety.

When you interact with a healthcare system, every piece of the puzzle, from the admitting process, to your exam, the lab, medical imaging, and any follow up and prescriptions, is part of a journey carefully curated with safety as the top priority. Your health care team comes together to form a united bond with you at the center, encircling you with safe practices and measures.

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 safety and quality measurements, consistently performing above average compared to hospitals nationwide. This commitment to safety is demonstrated by national achievements, including Barton’s place on the Newsweek World’s Best Hospitals 2023 List.

While patient safety is a hospital’s primary 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 and vaccinations. 

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.

Together, by choosing safety both in and out of the hospital, we complete the puzzle and achieve a healthier community. Happy Patient Safety Awareness Week.

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

Dawn Evans
Health & Wellness

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