According to the health calendar, March 6 – 11, 2011 is National Patient Safety Awareness Week. But, at Bayhealth Medical Center, “Patient Safety Week” extends around the clock, every day, 52 weeks per year.
“Our nurses are literally thinking about patient safety at every moment, and they are dedicated to continually developing new clinical protocols to improve safety,” said 3-North Medical-Surgical Clinical Coordinator Jamie Potts, RN-BC, who chairs the Bayhealth Clinical Safety Council.
According to Potts, this council is comprised of educators, clinical leaders, nurses, and other front-line staff who represent a variety of areas within Bayhealth. The group’s success hinges on having council members who provide direct patient care on a daily basis.
“The floor nurses are most directly involved in the care of our patients. They are knowledgeable about safety issues and practices in healthcare, and are motivated to obtain the best possible outcomes for their patients,” said Potts.
Potts says the collaboration between hospital leadership and the front-line staff empowers the council to strive continually to create a safer environment for patients. In recent years, the council has restructured Bayhealth’s Fall Prevention Program, implemented the American Hospital Association’s recommendations to standardized hospital armband colors, and evaluated numerous safety products that are now in use throughout Bayhealth.
During National Patient Safety Awareness Week in March, the Council is sponsoring a number of activities to highlight the importance of healthcare safety. Council members will have poster displays, interactive demonstrations, and safety lectures throughout the week at both Milford Memorial Hospital and Kent General Hospital. The week will culminate with the presentation of the Second Annual Safety Excellence Awards. The awards are given to a selected staff member at each campus for contributing to or improving patient safety at Bayhealth.