Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Maryland Patient Safety Center Touts Three Achievements and Highlights Three Practical Tips for Patient Safety in Recognition of National Patient Safety Week

March 6, 2013

ELKRIDGE, Md., March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Maryland Patient Safety Center, the state’s official center for patient safety issues and education, is marking National Patient Safety Awareness Week by highlighting three significant accomplishments in patient safety in Maryland and by offering three practical tips for the public to consider.

“Maryland continues to be a national leader on patient safety initiatives and the achievement of important safety benchmarks,” said Maryland Patient Safety President and CEO Robert Imhoff. “National Patient Safety Week is an important opportunity for us to educate the public on our mission, our accomplishments and what they can do to enhance patient safety.”

The center has made a number of advancements towards their goal of making healthcare in Maryland the safest in the nation. Recent accomplishments include:

1) In response to the center’s Safe From Falls Collaborative, members collectively boast a documented fall rate of 3 per thousand patient days, well below the national average of 4.6 per thousand patient days.

2) In response to the center’s Hand Hygiene Collaborative, members have a hand-hygiene compliance rate of over 83%, well over the national average of an estimated 50% compliance.

3) The center’s perinatal efforts have reduced the elective induction rate for pregnancies less than 39 weeks without medical indication by 57%, and the C-section rate less than 39 weeks without medical indication by 62.5%. In addition, the efforts of the neonatal participants reduced chronic lung disease in the first year of life by 53%. All of these efforts have been helpful in reducing the infant mortality rate in the state to its lowest levels ever for two consecutive years.

While most of the center’s efforts are aimed at partnering with healthcare institutions to improve patient safety, the organization also offers these practical tips for the general public to help improve patient safety:

1) Family-Centered Care is Vital – numerous studies have documented an increase in patient safety and improved patient outcomes when family members are closely involved in a patient’s care. Involved family members can play a key role by ensuring punctual arrival for appointments and procedures, actively asking questions, taking notes and being a proactive, engaged advocate for their loved one while they are receiving treatment.

2) Hand Hygiene is Critical – regardless of if you are sick in the hospital or are feeling well at work or home, hand hygiene is a critical element to avoiding illness and staying safe for patients as well as healthcare workers. Good hand hygiene is achieved by frequent hand washing using soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs.

3) Think Patient Safety at All Times – from the time you enter the parking lot of a health care facility to the time you leave, it is important to be thinking safety. Obey signs and cross walks in parking areas, read and follow instructions given to you by your caregivers and follow medication guidelines and be aware of potential side effects.

About the Maryland Patient Safety Center

The Maryland Patient Safety Center brings together hospitals and healthcare providers to improve patient safety and health care quality for all Marylanders. The goal of the Patient Safety Center is making healthcare in Maryland the safest in the nation by focusing on the systems of care, reducing the occurrence of adverse events, and improving the culture of patient safety at Maryland healthcare facilities. For more information, visit www.marylandpatientsafetycenter.org.

SOURCE Maryland Patient Safety Center

Source: PR Newswire