FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2004
Patient Safety Week 2004
Contact: John Holder (979) 458-0669
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center
Office of Communications
http://tamhsc.edu
A&M Health Science Center Plans Activities for Patient Safety Awareness Week
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center will mark National Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 7 through 13) with activities designed to educate the public about becoming more effective partners in their own health care.
Activities scheduled include an exhibit at the Texas A&M University Memorial Student Center on Tuesday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Patient safety materials printed in both English and Spanish will be distributed, and health professionals will be on hand to discuss pharmacy safety and service, patients’ roles in making healthcare safer, and roles of patient advocates. On Wednesday, March 10, the patient safety exhibit will be set up in the main lobby of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bryan, where it will be available from 9 a.m. to noon.
Research shows that 50 percent of prescriptions are not taken properly, and patient medical errors increase as the complexity of medical procedures increases. Some estimates put the number of medical error cases in the thousands, rivaling car accidents, AIDS and even breast cancer as a health risk.
Patient Safety Awareness Week is a national education and awareness-building campaign for improving patient safety at the local level. Hospitals and health care organizations across the country are encouraged to plan events to promote patient safety within their own organizations. Educational activities are centered on educating patients on how to become involved in their own health care, as well as working with hospitals to build partnerships with their patient community.
Josie Williams, M.D., director of the Health Science Center’s Rural and Community Health Institute (which includes Quality, Patient Safety Initiatives), has emphasized several messages for Patient Safety Awareness Week: encouraging patients to become more informed healthcare consumers and to communicate with their health professionals, asking questions and raising points of potential misunderstanding or disagreement; urging family members to become involved with their loved ones’ healthcare needs, if necessary serving as advocates with medical professionals; and urging patients to become educated about the medications they have been prescribed before they take any drug.
For more information on Patient Safety Awareness Week, visit the Rural and Community Health Institute website (http://www.rchitexas.org/), or email williams@tamhsc.edu.
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its five components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and the School of Rural Public Health.
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