Letter from the Chairman, May 2019

Dear patient safety movement champions,

May is a busy month for many. We have Mother’s Day coming up and while I am able to celebrate both my mom and my wife, the mother of our 3 children, I can’t help but think of how difficult this special day is to the countless people who can’t celebrate this day properly because their mom was taken from them too early because of a preventable medical error.

This month’s spotlight is about the PSMF Hospital Mentor Program. We launched the program at our 7th Annual World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit. UCI Health invited 13 doctors from Taiwan for a visit and they used this opportunity to learn from each other about their patient safety processes. The visit was led by Dr. Chan Liao Mingi. UCI is one of four hospitals, and first academic hospital in the world to implement all of the APSS.  Dr. Wilson from UCI hosted the group from Taiwan and here’s what Dr. Chan had to say about their visit; “We are working to unify the healthcare ecosystem in Taiwan and are committed to helping our hospitals eliminate preventable patient deaths by implementing the evidence-based APSS.” If you would like to participate in the PSMF Hospital Mentor program, please let us know. His Taiwan Patient Safety Culture Club (TPSCC) is the patient safety advocacy group in Taiwan and just finished their 3rd annual Patient Safety Rally celebrating 1,631 lives saved from the commitments of 38 organizations that have made a commitment to zero.

We also feature a blog article written by Professor Melissa Clarkson and Helen Haskell, who is the President of Mothers Against Medical Error. They share their thoughts on why it’s important to move away from using terms like “second victim” and “third victim” when it comes to improving patient safety in our hospitals. They make a very valid point and the words we use can be the difference between maintaining the status quo or taking action and putting the proper patient safety processes in place to eliminate errors.

Please don’t forget that the registration for our Midyear Planning Meeting scheduled for September 17 will come to a close once we reach our space capacity. As always there is no fee to attend but we only have a set number of seats available. This is a critical year and this is one meeting you don’t want to miss.

May is Mental Health Month. This is Mental Health America’s 70th year bringing attention to this important topic. It is also National Preeclampsia Month. We will be posting on our social media on this topic. Please share the posts with your colleagues and friends and help us and these organizations spread the word. And help your hospital implement APSS #13B on Collaborative Care Planning.

To eliminate preventable patient deaths in hospitals, we need you to ask your hospital what needs to be done for them to implement all of the Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS). I understand that it takes a lot of courage to bring up the topic and help lead the effort but the results will be well worth it for you, your patients and your colleagues. There is no better feeling than going to work knowing that you are not hoping for zero patient harm but have put in place proven processes to get to zero. Just ask the 4 hospitals that have implemented every APSS and earned a 5-star award. You can do it. You are not in this alone – we can help. We owe it to ourselves to give it everything we’ve got to reach zero before 2020.  Don’t you agree?

Joe