Patient Safety Authority Marks Patient Safety Awareness Week March 4-10

HARRISBURG (PRNewswire-USNewswire) – The Patient Safety Authority will hold a public board meeting Monday, March 5, at 3:30 p.m. in the Main Ballroom at the Wyndham Gettysburg Hotel and Conference Center in Gettysburg with a presentation on the results of a recent assessment of electronic pharmacy systems in Pennsylvania facilities. The board meeting is being held in conjunction with the Hospital and Healthsystem Association’s Patient Safety Symposium to mark Patient Safety Awareness Week March 4- 10.

Staff from the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System conducted the assessment with 30 volunteer participants from Pennsylvania hospitals as part of a Workgroup on Pharmacy Computer System Safety. The methodology was based on a similar assessment performed nationally by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, a subcontractor of the Authority. The objective of the workgroup was to assess the safety features and capabilities of pharmacy computer systems used in Pennsylvania hospitals.

Requirements for workgroup participation included: creating a test patient in the pharmacy computer system; entering 18 unsafe medication orders, provided by PA-PSRS, into the test patient’s profile; recording whether or not the pharmacy computer system detected the unsafe orders; and completing a brief online questionnaire. The survey is a follow-up to similar surveys ISMP has done nationally regarding the reliability of electronic pharmacy computer systems. Detailed results from the workgroup will be published in the Authority’s Patient Safety Advisory.

A second presentation will be given to review results of three discussion groups held recently with patient safety officers from across Pennsylvania. The groups’ objectives were to: gain insight on how the Authority can best help PSOs improve patient safety; understand PSOs needs and challenges; and seek feedback on the current and future direction of the Authority.

The patient safety officers were very candid in the discussions providing the Authority with valuable information on the challenges they face in improving patient safety in their facilities. They also provided several examples of improvements that have been implemented as a result of the data in PA-PSRS and guidance provided by Patient Safety Advisories.

Michael C. Doering, interim administrator of the Patient Safety Authority, said both presentations provide insight into the challenges that lie ahead for the Authority and healthcare facilities to improve patient safety.

“Improving patient safety in Pennsylvania’s healthcare facilities is a long road filled with peaks and valleys,” said Doering. “The information that will be provided in these presentations can serve as a roadmap to continue in the right direction of preventing and reducing medical errors in Pennsylvania.”

As mentioned, the public board meeting is being held in conjunction with Patient Safety Awareness Week and a Patient Safety Symposium held by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. The Authority is a platinum sponsor of the symposium, with approximately 200 hospital safety officers and quality managers expected to participate in the all-day conference on Tuesday, March 6. The symposium features keynote speakers addressing the devastating fallout that patients and families experience after a medical error and breakout sessions geared toward helping practitioners develop a common, in-depth understanding of the scope of patient safety issues and steps toward safer health care.

Patient Safety Awareness Week is a national observance sponsored by the National Patient Safety Foundation as an education and awareness- building campaign for improving patient safety at the local level. The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Patient Safety — A Road Taken Together.” NPSF has made available literature, videos, handouts and other materials to assist healthcare institutions and professionals in encouraging patients to become more actively involved in their healthcare.

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