“Patient Safety Week” Starts Today

Patient Safety Focus Blog

Patient Safety Awareness Week Site

Today is the start of the annual “Patient Safety Awareness Week” in hospital world, running March 2 to March 8.

I have mixed feelings about this. Not mixed feelings about “patient safety.” That’s obviously a good thing and I’m all in favor of patient safety and any steps that can be taken to protect it.

But the idea of a “week” — that’s what I have mixed feelings about. Building awareness is good, but having a week makes patient safety seem like an add-on, rather than a core issue. Patient safety should be a priority every week and every day. Education and support for patient safety issues should be ongoing.

I don’t remember factories ever having “Quality and Customer Focus Week.” Do any? If they don’t have a week like that, it doesn’t mean that quality and customer focus aren’t important. Now, sometimes factories will send a message that quality isn’t a core function by having a “quality department” that is somehow responsible. The best factories integrate quality into everybody’s job, every day. I’d assume the best hospitals would incorporate patient safety into everything, every day, as well.


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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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1 Comment on "“Patient Safety Week” Starts Today"

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  1. Anonymous says:

    My hospital had two paltry signs about patient safety week. They had more signs and displays up in that area for nurses’ week. What does that say about priorities? I was embarrassed by that, as a nurse.

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