Skip navigation

Maple Grove Blog


Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm by Linnea Huinker, MHA



This week, March 6-12, is Patient Safety Awareness Week, a week-long national campaign created to encourage patients and their families to be active partners with their healthcare team. Typically, we celebrate other themed weeks (Imaging Week, Nurses Week, Laboratory Week, etc.) by hosting hospital-wide themed celebrations for staff to visit and learn about the other departments and disciplines. However, for Patient Safety Awareness Week, Maple Grove Hospital is choosing not to hold any formal events. You may be thinking, with something as important as patient safety, why would we not do anything to highlight the efforts we do at the hospital around patient safety?

The answer is simple: at Maple Grove Hospital we like to think that patient safety is of the utmost importance and that every week is patient safety awareness week.


Sponsored by the Boston based National Patient Safety Foundation, Patient Safety Awareness Week directs people to NPSF’s website, allowing patients and families to learn about activities that can improve communication with health care providers. Patients and families can also find useful tools and tips on how to become more involved in their healthcare care, prevent hospital readmission, and prevent hospital-acquired infections.


Another patient safety focused organization is The Joint Commission, a national private organization that accredits over 17,000 hospitals and health care organizations in the United States. Through the accreditation process, The Joint Commission ensures safe and effective care. The Joint Commission’s new campaign geared towards patients and their families, called "Speak Up," is designed to increase patient awareness and involvement. Visit their website to learn more about ways you can "Speak Up" about your healthcare.


Patient Safety from the Patient’s Perspective


  • There are many members of your healthcare team, but don’t forget about the most important member – YOU! Think of yourself as a member of your healthcare team.

  •  Improve communication. Ask questions about anything you do not understand; medical terminology related to your condition, diagnosis, medications, or any tests or procedures you may be having.

  • Understand how to correctly take your medications. Not understanding your medications can end you up in the Emergency Room. Create a list of your medication names, doses and how often you take them. Visit this website to find blank templates of a My Medication List Wallet Card. Keep your medication list with you at all times; this will help your healthcare team know what medications you are currently taking.

  • Help prevent the spread of infection by using the sanitizing foam throughout the hospital. Every time a person enters and exits a patient room they should "Foam In and Foam Out". If you see anyone that does not use the foam when entering a patient room, gently remind them to use the foam.


Patient Safety from the Hospital’s Perspective


  • At Maple Grove Hospital we use Safety First Reports to report opportunities for improved patient safety. Maple Grove Hospital employees use these reports for actual errors or mistakes that occurred. They can also be used to report a "good catch" or "near miss". Typically, a small group discusses and analyzes the error to determine what caused it. By understanding mistakes and errors we can prevent recurrence of the same issue by communicating it to others throughout the hospital and/or changing a process about how we do our work.


  • Maple Grove Hospital has a Rapid Response Team, our team of critical care specialists. If you have a concern about a sudden change in your or a family member’s health condition, activate a Rapid Response Team by dialing *77 from a Maple Grove Hospital phone.


  • The Joint Commission has also created National Patient Safety Goals. As a part of the accreditation process, hospitals are also scored on these top patient safety priorities. Maple Grove Hospital has specialized teams and committees that work on improving patient safety and each of the specific National Patient Safety Goals.

 Good Communication + Strong Partnerships = Safe Patients



Linnea Mueller, MHA
Clinical Effectiveness Specialist
Maple Grove Hospital


Email Post


No Comments

Your comment will not display until it is reviewed by the moderator.