Patient Safety Matters to You - #PSAW19

Patients Should Take an Active Role in Their Care and Safety


In today’s blog we’re emphasizing the important of patient involvement to prevent medication errors.

Now more than ever, patients are being encouraged to take an active role in their own safety. Doctors, nurses, emergency care providers, and other healthcare providers welcome their involvement.


“The latest summary of reported medication errors (“Preventing Medication Errors: A $21 Billion Opportunity,” from the National Priorities Partnership and National Quality Forum) showed that the largest contributor to medication errors is the prescriber’s lack of knowledge about other drugs and preparations the patient is taking, which can lead to serious interactions or overdose.

Only the patient has this key information required to prevent medication errors. Only the patient knows which prescribed drugs, OTC preparations, and CAMs he or she is taking and how and when these are taken .

All the more reason for healthcare providers to educate patients about the medications and other products they’re using, and empower them to speak up about their medications to healthcare providers, including whether they’re actually taking them and how often.”

“Patients should maintain a list of all drugs they’re actually taking and show it to every healthcare provider they see. This list should include all over-the-counter medications, home remedies, and herbal medications including tea, vitamins and weight gain or loss products such as shakes, pills or bars. Sometimes they can be dangerous when you take them with other medications.


Patients should know what medications they are taking, why they are taking them, and potential side effects. To help prevent medication errors - patients must tell the doctor and nurse of any allergies and type of reaction or side effects they have.”

Patients are key healthcare team members and must speak up to protect themselves from errors.

Preventable medical errors cause hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Clinicians are caring people, committed to providing their best care, but they’re human. And, human beings make mistakes. ReaLifeSim is committed to provide more realistic experiences in clinical skills practice to help improve patient safety. Improving the realism of clinical simulation education at the beginning of a clinician’s education and training experiences is one of the best means to improve patient safety for all, now and for the future.

To learn more about ReaLifeSim products visit our website.

James Benson, Chief Communications Officer

James Benson is a career public relations executive with over 38 years’ experience communicating with diverse audiences in a wide variety of venues. A retired Air Force officer, he spent the latter half of his Air Force career as a public affairs officer enjoying a series of one-of-a-kind positions with equally unique communication challenges. From arranging press conferences, to producing news and training videos, to explaining research, development and contracting issues to the media, he enjoyed tuning in to each audience to ensure the message was received and understood. As the marketing director of a mid-sized hospital, Mr. Benson directed the advertising and promotion of membership and referral programs and community health fairs, conducted outreach efforts to rural health care clinics and community education programs, created a trade show display and produced and hosted a radio health program. At the Department of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Benson served as a senior public affairs executive responding to media requests, preparing senior officials and subject matter experts for media interviews, hosting a magazine-style television program with benefit information for Veterans and providing emcee support for numerous department and public ceremonies and special events. As an adjunct professor, Mr. Benson has taught classes in communications for the past 10 years. Currently, Mr. Benson is providing strategic communications, media relations and marketing support to B & G Educational Innovations, LLC, makers of ReaLifeSim clinical simulation training products