This is patient safety awareness week. #PSAW19
You might think patient safety is something just for those who work in a hospital or doctor’s office to be aware of or thinking about. But, in fact, it applies to all of us.
The fact is, patient safety is for everyone from the hospital administrator, top surgeon, chief nursing officer, every operating room tech and every member of the custodial staff. And, it also includes every patient. Patients want to get the right treatment and care and should do whatever they can to ensure that happens.
My role as a “standardized patient”, someone who acts the part of a patient in clinical simulation exercises, was an eye-opening experience for me regarding patient safety.
In my role, I noticed the students did not always check for identification or confirm who I was by scanning the bar code on my ID bracelet to see if they had the correct patient. They sometimes didn’t notice that I had removed my ID band from my wrist. They were trying to do everything right, but those steps weren’t always their top priorities. Please don’t misunderstand, most things were done correctly! But, it only takes one error to potentially cause harm or take a life.
This simple step to ensure the correct patient is being attended to, can prevent any number of errors concerning medication, treatment, injections, even surgeries.
My role as a standardized patient, actually helped me be a better patient and empowered me to take a more active role in my healthcare and in my family’s care as well.
Remember, you are the most important member of your clinical care team.
Ask questions. Get involved. Be active. It’s your health and your life.
About the author: James Benson is a professor of communications and Chief Communications Officer of B & G Educational Innovations, LLC, and subsidiary ReaLifeSim, LLC.
To learn more about ReaLifeSim hybrid clinical simulation solutions: www.realifesim.net