As we move into the second half of 2021, many countries are still dealing with COVID-19 or one of its new variant strains. Over 15 months into the pandemic, healthcare providers are still on the frontline, taking care of patients critically ill with COVID-19. As a result, fatigue and burnout are prevalent among healthcare workers. To create zero harm in our health care systems, we must make sure that we take care of the caregivers as much as we care for the patients. Healthcare worker safety is also patient safety.
September 17th is World Patient Safety Day as designated by the World Health Organization. On that day, The Patient Safety Movement Foundation will host a global live/virtual event called #UniteForSafeCare to discuss patient safety. The #UniteForSafeCare event will feature contributions from patients and patient families, health care providers, politicians and leaders in patient safety across the globe.
Hospitals must become safe havens. Every health care worker needs to make a personal commitment to zero harm, and every hospital needs to show the world what initiatives they have taken to become high reliability organizations. We must also discuss what is working and what is not.
The Patient Safety Movement Foundation exists to help the many hardworking physicians, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, and all who work in health care to prevent them from making preventable errors. While the patient is the primary victim of a preventable error, the nurse or physician are the second victims when a preventable error is made. Our goal in the Patient Safety Movement Foundation is to hardwire our health systems so that the right thing is done every time. Our hospitals must become “High-Reliability Organizations” or HROs, and this comes from the top down. Aligned incentives, transparency regarding errors, and regulations are needed to get us there.
We know that our goal of zero harm by 2030 is a “moonshot” but we are in the era of renewed moonshots and if we all – patients, physicians, nurses, administrators, industry, politicians, celebrities, everyone with a stake in this venture – pull together, we can make it!
At the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, we forge global relationships, partnerships, and collaboratives to actively promote patient safety. Our purpose is to save lives, reduce harm, and reduce the cost of medical care. It’s a win-win-win for healthcare providers, patients, and everyone involved — a politician’s dream platform!
Mike Ramsay, M.D.
Chairman, Patient Safety Movement Foundation
Past President, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, Dallas, TX