A couple of years ago, a recall of hand sanitizers from hospitals brought Patient Safety Awareness to the forefront of the health care discussion. Improving patient safety practices and significantly decreasing preventable medical errors has long been a goal of hospitals around the country. At Danville Regional Medical Center, Patient Safety Officer Teresa Pruitt is dedicated to improving patient safety on an ongoing basis. “Patient safety is a major priority for us. It is all about doing the right thing for our patients. The foundation for this is building and fostering a culture of safety throughout our organization in which all associates readily speak up if they have any concerns. In addition we must build our processes with safety and best practices in mind.”

Patient safety is one of the most vital aspects of a hospital’s duty to its patients. Across the country, some examples of preventable errors include wrong-site surgery, medication errors, facility acquired infections, falls, diagnostic errors, and readmission within 30 days for the same issue.

Danville Regional is committed to minimizing all instances of preventable mistakes. And when mistakes are made, making sure to quickly and appropriately correct the issue. “Most mistakes are a result of a breakdown in a system or process,” Teresa says. “We must consciously build our processes to ensure the risk of an adverse event is greatly reduced or eliminated, when at all possible. The safety of our patients must always be part of the planning when building new processes or even when reviewing current ones. In the field of medicine, things change fairly quickly and we are committed to building proven, evidence-based practices into our patient care processes.”

Danville Regional Medical Center is committed to continue building a strong patient safety program. To get more information or to offer your comments, call 434.799.3761 or email teresa.pruitt@lpnt.net.

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