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Working to Increase Patient Safety and Reduce Medical Errors

A recent article estimates that as many as 400,000 incidents of preventable harm occur in the United States each year, resulting in approximately 100,000 deaths and a cost estimated at $60 billion. Patient Safety Awareness Week, from March 13th to 19th, provides an opportunity to encourage the issue of patient safety to be discussed openly among all of the health care stakeholders, purchasers, providers, plans, and patients.

A wide variety of resources, including toolkits, publications, webinars, and social media messages are available from:

Employers and purchasers of health care can help educate their members about the importance of high quality health care and what to look out for to reduce the likelihood of errors. The Washington Health Alliance’s Community Checkup offers several recommendations for what patients can do, including:

  • talking with your doctor about concerns;
  • taking steps to prepare for surgery and improve outcomes;
  • knowing the signs and symptoms of infections; and
  • getting smart about antibiotics.

For more patient safety recommendations and to see the Community Checkup results for the rate of falls with injury at the hospital, click here.

Published: March 1, 2022

About Washington Health Alliance

The Washington Health Alliance is a place where stakeholders work collaboratively to transform Washington state’s health care system for the better. The Alliance brings together organizations that share a commitment to drive change in our health care system by offering a forum for critical conversation and aligned efforts by stakeholders: purchasers, providers, health plans, consumers and other health care partners. The Alliance believes strongly in transparency and offers trusted and credible reporting of progress on measures of health care quality and value. The Alliance is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit with more than 185 member organizations. A cornerstone of the Alliance's work is the Community Checkup, a report to the public comparing the performance of medical groups, hospitals and health plans and offering a community-level view on important measures of health care quality (www.wacommunitycheckup.org).

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