National Patient Safety Awareness Week: March 13 – 19, 2022

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual recognition event intended to encourage everyone to learn more about health care safety. During this week, IHI (Institute of Healthcare Improvement) seeks to advance important discussions locally and globally, and inspire action to improve the safety of the health care system — for patients and the workforce.

Patient Safety Awareness Week serves as a dedicated time and platform for growing awareness about patient safety and recognizing the work already being done.

Although there has been real progress made in patient safety over the past two decades, current estimates cite medical harm as a leading cause of death worldwide.

The World Health Organization estimates that 134 million adverse events occur each year due to unsafe care in hospitals in low- and middle-income countries, resulting in some 2.6 million deaths. Additionally, some 40 percent of patients experience harm in ambulatory and primary care settings with an estimated 80 percent of these harms being preventable, according to WHO.

Some studies suggest that as many as 400,000 deaths occur in the United States each year as a result of errors or preventable harm. Not every case of harm results in death, yet they can cause long-term impact on the patient’s physical health, emotional health, financial well-being, or family relationships.

Preventing harm in health care settings is a public health concern. Everyone interacts with the health care system at some point in life. And everyone has a role to play in advancing safe health care.

At IHI, we believe patient safety needs to be addressed within a public health framework.

IHI works with partners around the world to improve the safety of health care for patients, caregivers, and the health care workforce. Learn more about IHI’s work to advance patient safety.

Learn more about IHI’s work to advance patient safety.​

Join IHI for a free webinar on March 15 (11:00 AM to 12:00 PM ET), Sensemaking in Times of Uncertainty: Essential for Safety.

By the end of this webinar​ you’ll be able to:

  • Describe the impact of chaos and uncertainty on sensemaking.
  • Characterize the importance of sensemaking with respect to the current state of patient and workforce safety and well-being.
  • Identify one next step that you will incorporate today to foster sensemaking in your organization.

Donald M. Berwick is one of the speakers for this webinar. You may remember Berwick as a former CMS Administrator in the Obama administration.

I​HI is​​​ approved for 1 continuing education credits for physicians, ​nurses and the ​Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) recertification.

​Resources For Health Professionals:

Raise awareness for Patient Safety Awareness Week at your organization:

Download Safer Together: A National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety.

Download IHI’s Patient Safety Essentials Toolkit.

Check out IHI’s Open School Patient Safety Curriculum.

Read the latest patient safety insights on the IHI Blog.

Get support for your projects with our free resource on Optimizing a Business Case for Safe Health Care: An Integrated Approach to Safety and Finance.

Gather your team to listen to the WIHI broadcast Sustaining and Strengthening Safety Huddles.

Learn how to conduct Root Cause Analyses and Actions. Download the free resource RCA2: Improving Root Cause Analyses and Actions to Prevent Harm. ​

Download Leading a Culture of Safety: A Blueprint for Success, which offers strategies and tactics for leaders at every level to create and sustain a safety culture.

Read the IHI White Paper, A Framework for Safe, Reliable, Effective Care.​