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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