World Patient Safety Day: Your role in medication safety (Opinion)
Sept. 17 is World Patient Safety Day, designated by the World Health Organization to heighten awareness and invite action around patient safety for healthcare team members, patients, family members, community members, and policy makers.
Each year a theme is selected, encouraging room for improvement, collaboration, and positive change year-round. This year, the focus is “Medication Without Harm,” to highlight the prevention of medication errors.
Healthcare organizations are made up of hundreds of physicians, healthcare workers, and hospital staff working together to provide the best care possible. Patient Safety is a core value for Barton Health. When you enter any Barton facility, every team member you interact with is taking great care to ensure your safety, using safety systems and processes to double and triple-check information, medications, and charts to ensure you are receiving the right care at the right time.
To prevent medication errors, everyone plays a critical role. At Barton, safety measures are prioritized across the patient’s care journey and we utilize a large number of checks and balances to minimize the chances of a medication error reaching our patients.
As a patient, it’s important to know the names of all medications you take and what they are for. Always tell your healthcare providers about any medications that you are taking, including over the counter medications, and any supplements or herbal products.
We highly recommend making a current list of medications you take, and keeping that list in your purse or wallet. Communicate with your provider or pharmacist about any unwanted medication side-effects you might be experiencing. Check with your provider before stopping any medications. Finally, it’s important to properly dispose of any unused or expired medications.
Talk to your provider or pharmacist about your medications. More information about safe medication management and World Patient Safety Day can be found on the WHO website.
Dawn Evans, MSN, MBA, RN, PHN, CPPS, CPHQ is the director of patient safety at Barton Health. Barton has earned nine “A” grades from the Leapfrog Group that measures patient safety, a hard-earned track record that is the result of system-wide participation focusing on programs and pathways that exceed established standards of care. For more information on safety and quality measures at Barton, visit BartonHealth.org/Quality.
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