National Safety Week begins Monday

Spc. Todd Goodman
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center

Accidents beware – National Safety Week starts Monday and the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Patient Safety Office will educate patients and staff on how to provide and receive the very best patient care.

The patient safety office, which tracks negative trends and accidents to improve the safety of each person’s work area, will have an information booth set up outside the LRMC dining facility 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to March 11. The booth will have information on ethics, safety, medication management, patient rights and responsibilities, infection control and human resources. The office staff will also conduct rounds throughout the facility promoting patient safety.

LRMC has made it easy to find information on safety by having 64 patient safety assurance officers monitor every clinic in the hospital. They are the patient safety points of contact responsible for event follow-up and communication of safety information as well as solutions. To maintain a focus on safety, the PSAO discusses new safety updates with staff and brings safety issues to staff meetings.

“The staff at LRMC really has made a huge effort to keep patient safety a top priority,” said Paula Acker, LRMC health systems specialist. “Patient safety really is the key to LRMC’s success.”

Patient safety includes measures to prevent the spread of infection. Hand washing, covering nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and avoiding close contact with people who have a contagious illness are common-sense steps that people often forget. For instance, what good is covering the mouth during a coughing spell if immediately afterward, the hands do not get washed? Or take the workaholic who while suffering from the flu, goes to work anyway and spreads the virus to people in the office.

The office also has tips for receiving safer health care. For example, patients should keep a list of all medications they currently are taking to avoid any adverse reactions to combining medicines.

“That’s probably our biggest issue when it comes to patient safety,” said Jo White, LRMC Patient Safety Program manager. “Patients don’t always remember to tell their providers all of the medicines they take, or ones they are no longer taking.”