National Patient Safety Awareness Week scheduled March 2-8

National Patient Safety Awareness Week scheduled March 2-8

by Dr. Angeline D. Dy, 18th Medical Group
Kadena Air Base

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- In an effort to raise awareness and encourage the engagement of patients, families, health care providers, and the public, the 18th Medical Group announced its participation in the 2014 Patient Safety Awareness Week campaign, "Navigate Your Health ... Safely."

Patient Safety Awareness Week, which is slated for March 2-8 this year, is an annual education and awareness campaign for health care safety led by the National Patient Safety Foundation. Each year, health care organizations around the world take part in the event, creating awareness in their community and among their staff.

This year's theme, "Navigate Your Health ... Safely," highlights the need for health care providers to ensure that patients and consumers are more engaged in the health care process, whether visiting the doctor for a routine exam or entering the hospital for surgery.

"Health care today is extremely complex," says NPSF President Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS. "All of us will be patients at some point in life, and we should approach that experience the way we would approach any important journey -- with careful planning and communication. Navigate Your Health ... Safely reminds us that that providing safe patient care can best be achieved when patients are a key part of the team and take an active role in their care."

This year's campaign is also stressing greater awareness of diagnostic errors - an area that has not been widely studied in the medical literature. A diagnostic error can be defined as a wrong, delayed, or missed diagnosis; while not all diagnostic errors result in patient harm, they represent the leading cause of malpractice cases for many organizations.

The 18th Medical Group will engage staff, patients, and the community through educational and awareness-building activities specific to patient safety science and practice. The Patient Safety Program at the 18th Medical Group is a vital component of its mission "To proactively deliver safe, seamless health services to team Kadena." The Patient Safety Program is integrated in every facet of 18 MDG's healthcare delivery system. It exists to promote a culture of safety through collaborative endeavors with various interdisciplinary services, placing safe patient care a priority.

"I am proud that our clinic was recently recognized as having the best Patient Safety Program in PACAF," said Colonel Frank Allara, Commander of the 18th Medical Group. "We encourage our patients to actively engage with their providers in their treatment so that we can continue to improve our processes to ensure our beneficiaries receive the safest quality care available."

During the week, the 18th Medical Group has planned a number of special activities for staff and patients to demonstrate our commitment to working together with our patients to provide the quality and safe care.

These activities include the following activities such as a Scavenger hunt, Room of errors, Word Scramble, Facebook Challenge, Blood drive, lectures, and workshops. There will be a 5k Run/Walk and Drug take Back toward the end of the week.

For a complete schedule of events, click here.

For additional information on Patient Safety Awareness Week, please visit

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