Be Aware for Safe Care: Patient Safety Awareness Week

Be Aware for Safe Care: Patient Safety Awareness Week
Roper Hospital continues commitment to promote patient safety awareness

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Mar. 2, 2012) – Roper St. Francis Healthcare (RSFH) kicks off the national annual Patient Safety Awareness Week March 4-10, 2012. The education and awareness campaign for healthcare safety is led by the National Patient Safety Foundation, an organization that aims to improve the safety of care provided to patients. The theme for this year’s Patient Safety Awareness Week is “Be Aware for Safe Care.”

At RSFH, patient safety is always a top priority and the system has been commended by several organizations for outstanding patient satisfaction. Roper St. Francis Healthcare is pleased to recognize national Patient Safety Awareness Week and has programs in place to ensure patient safety year-round. These programs include:

• C-difficile infection reduction – C-difficile, or C-diff is a bacterium that can affect older adults in hospitals. Roper St. Francis has partnered with Emergency Management (EMS and local nursing homes) to identify C-diff infections early and treat patients who experience this life threatening illness from antibiotic use and airborne spores.
• Health literacy – Educating the patient on discharge instructions, medication directions and plan of care.
• Unit-based patient safety program – These are nursing unit-focused huddles that look at both clinical assessment and processes to make sure all patients on that unit are safe. Patients are involved in these huddles to ensure they know how their care is moving and are introduced to new members of a shift change. This boosts patient confidence in shift changes and puts both the patient and nursing staff on the same page.

Roper St. Francis also has education programs in place for employees:
• Medication safety teams – These teams focus on circumstances behind near misses with medications and how the dosage process can be improved before an error reaches a patient.
• Patient safety fairs – These events are offered at all of the RSFH facilities and update employees on new patient safety initiatives and strategies.
• “Ask Me 3” education – This technique promotes communication with healthcare providers by encouraging patients to understand the answers to three basic questions: What is my main problem?; What do I need to do?; Why is it important for me to do this?. Employees are coached to use the “Ask Me 3” technique when they join the staff and use a checklist to ensure all information has been shared.

“While these programs are working well in our system and our employees continue to work with a focus on patient safety, we also encourage our patients to be active and involved in their care,” said Marion Martin, director, Quality and Patient Safety, Roper St. Francis Healthcare. “Studies have shown that patients who are more involved in their care – speaking up, asking questions, understanding what and why – experience more positive outcomes.” 


About Roper St. Francis Healthcare
Serving South Carolina’s Lowcountry for almost 200 years, Roper St. Francis Healthcare is the area’s only non-profit health system and is dedicated to the mission of “Healing All People with Compassion, Faith and Excellence.”  With more than 100 facilities across 7 counties, the system’s hospitals include Roper Hospital, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital and Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital. The system employs a network of more than 200 doctors and has a medical staff of more than 800 physicians covering all specialties. Roper St. Francis Healthcare’s more than 5,300 employees pride themselves on being nationally-recognized through Joint Commission accreditations and awards including hundreds earned for patient, physician and employee satisfaction.

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