Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Be A Patient Safety Hero: Anytime, Anywhere—Always

Image of The Defense Health Agency will be highlighting the importance of patient safety with the celebration of Patient Safety Awareness Week,, March 10-16, with the theme of “Be A Patient Safety Hero: Anytime, Anywhere – Always.” (Credit: Kim Farcot, MHS Communications ). The Defense Health Agency will be highlighting the importance of patient safety with the celebration of Patient Safety Awareness Week,, March 10-16, with the theme of “Be A Patient Safety Hero: Anytime, Anywhere – Always.” (Credit: Kim Farcot, MHS Communications )

When it comes to health care delivery in the Military Health System, patient safety is a core focus.

The Defense Health Agency will be highlighting the importance of patient safety with Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 10-16, with the theme “Be A Patient Safety Hero: Anytime, Anywhere—Always.”

“It's important to take time to focus on patient safety and resilience in our daily practices,” said Heidi King, chief of the Patient Safety Program within the DHA. “We value our patient safety professionals who support health care delivery in all military hospitals and clinics. They ensure patients have a clean environment, properly trained staff, supporting medical equipment, and a process to resolve issues.”

According to King, patient safety means giving every patient the right treatment at the right time for the right reason. All health care professionals maintain the highest level of care to:

  • Identify patients correctly
  • Prevent infection
  • Improve staff communication
  • Identify patient safety risks
  • Mitigate errors
  • Prevent harm
  • Use medicines safely
  • Use alarms wisely

How does Patient Safety Awareness Week Help?

Military hospitals and clinics across the MHS will host a variety of events to participate in the campaign.

“Patient Safety Awareness Week is an opportunity to reassess performance and identify improvements needed during this international education and awareness-building campaign,” said King.

For the DHA, it is a week of reinvigorated focus to ensure there are systems in place to recognize its patient safety heroes and continuously improve the way care is delivered. For patients, it is an opportunity to learn about DHA’s actions and strategies for patient safety.

Each military hospital and clinic plans their own events and engage beneficiaries. DHA offers ideas, such as creating videos with patient safety champions, hosting games and webinars, and presenting certificates of appreciation during ceremonies.

Patient Awareness is Vital to Patient Safety

Patients are encouraged to help promote safety by reporting concerns they experience or see with their health care provider or facility leaders, so they can be resolved.

“Since DHA can analyze data across the Military Health System, they can reliably spot trends, recommend corrective actions, and share communications on issues that require immediate intervention,” said Stephanie Pastewait, deputy chief for the center for data integration within the DHA patient safety office.

Programs Highlight DHAs Commitment to Patient Safety

The DHA offers many resources that may be helpful to patient safety professionals.

The Patient Safety Professional Course is comprised of core content and a comprehensive systematic analysis agenda. The course is conducted three times annually.

“This course is continually updated and is a unique, virtual, adaptive learning experience greatly expanded our ability to reach those who connect daily with our beneficiaries,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Maxine McIntosh, the Patient Safety Professional Course lead.

“Standardization of safe care practices plays a key role in learning organizations,” said King. She noted that MHS partners with internal and external stakeholders, as well as beneficiaries to share lessons learned, leading practices, and other improvement opportunities for patient safety.

Additional patient programs and resources include:

  • DOD Patient Safety Culture Survey: The most recent survey collected insights from more than 600 military hospitals and clinics to evaluate patient safety. “The results are used to help drive MHS-wide improvement initiatives, as well as provide information to target more local efforts,” said Cherylann Robinson, lead of the Patient Safety Culture Survey team.
  • Joint Patient Safety Reporting: Self-reporting is one of the key components in the MHS’s effort to improve care. Patients can report events at all levels of severity and types of medical and dental care.
  • Patient Safety Champion Recognition Program: The Patient Safety Champion Certificate of Recognition is a peer-to-peer recognition initiative led by the DOD Patient Safety Program.
  • Ready Reliable Care High Reliability Organization Awards Program: The awards program recognizes initiatives and innovations in the MHS that reflect new knowledge and insights.
  • Patient Safety Professional Course: This interactive series of classes is designed for new patient safety professionals, who have been in their role less than one year.
  • e-Learning Courses: Self-paced online tutorials are available by the Joint Patient Safety Reporting Community and DOD patient safety professionals.
  • DOD Patient Safety Program Webinars: The webinars series is hosted by the DOD Patient Safety Program.  
  • Patient Safety Learning Center: The center facilitates the dissemination of knowledge and resources to increase awareness and promote communication across and among the patient safety community.
  • Patient Safety & Quality Academic Collaborative: The patient safety and quality academic collaborative is based at Uniformed Services University made up of a multidisciplinary team aimed at improving clinical practice and health policy within the MHS.
  • TeamSTEPPS: An evidence-based framework used to optimize team performance. Created as a joint venture between the DOD and our federal partners at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the program has been critical in minimizing preventable harm to our beneficiaries,” said Joe Paulino, TeamSTEPPS lead.

Resources available on InsideDHA (CAC users only, available via Inside DHA), include:

  • Comprehensive Systematic Analysis: Provides insight into patient safety harm events using a systems approach to prevent or reduce future harm. The PSP has developed tools and templates to standardize investigations.
  • Patient Safety Learning Center: The center is one of many DHA Patient Safety Program initiatives to engage and promote awareness to the MHS team.

King noted that although the DHA celebrates Patient Safety Awareness Week in March, ensuring safe, reliable care for every patient is a priority anytime, anywhere—always.

You also may be interested in...

Policy
Oct 1, 2015

Guideline: Trusted Care Concept of Operations

.PDF | 2.31 MB

This Trusted Care concept of operations (CONOPS) describes the transformation of the Air Force Medical Service into a high reliability healthcare system. High reliability organizations (HROs), as originally described in the nuclear power and aviation industries, consistently achieve better-than-expected outcomes despite operating in complex or high ...

  • Identification #: N/A
  • Type: Guideline
Technical Document
Apr 22, 2015

TeamSTEPPS Course Coordinator PIM

.PDF | 1.27 MB

Document highlighting the roles and responsibilities of all TeamSTEPPS Course Coordinators, responsible for facilitating training utilizing the DoD Patient Safety Program's TeamSTEPPS curriculum.

Technical Document
Apr 22, 2015

DoD PSP ORC Instructor Profile

.PDF | 3.36 MB

Document outlines the steps for course coordinators and instructors of the DoD Patient Safety Program (PSP) safety training curriculum TeamSTEPPS, to access their instructor profile in the Online Registration Center (ORC). Included in these steps is an overview of the instructor's responsibilities post-course in the ORC to ensure participants receive ...

Technical Document
Apr 22, 2015

TeamSTEPPS Train the Staff Agenda PM Example

.DOCX | 21.94 KB

Example of a TeamSTEPPS Train the Staff course agenda for an PM session. TeamSTEPPS Course Coordinators should utilize this example to submit a course request to the DoD Patient Safety Program. This is a requirement to receive accreditation approval for each course from the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM).

Technical Document
Apr 22, 2015

PIM TeamSTEPPS CE Process Timeline

.PDF | 338.60 KB

Document highlights the updated process timeline for course coordinators and participants to receive Continuing Education (CE) credits post-course facilitation of the TeamSTEPPS curriculum. This process has been udpated due to a recent transition to Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM) accreditation for the curriculum.

Technical Document
Apr 22, 2015

TeamSTEPPS Train the Staff Agenda AM Example

.DOCX | 22.55 KB

Example of a TeamSTEPPS Train the Staff course agenda for an AM session. TeamSTEPPS Course Coordinators should utilize this example to submit a course requests to the DoD Patient Safety Program. This is a requirement to receive accreditation approval for each course from the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM).

Technical Document
Apr 22, 2015

TeamSTEPPS Train the Trainer Agenda Example

.DOCX | 24.53 KB

Example of a TeamSTEPPS Train the Trainer two day course agenda. TeamSTEPPS Course Coordinators should utilize this example to submit a course request to the DoD Patient Safety Program. This is a requirement to receive accreditation approval for each course from the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM).

Technical Document
Dec 17, 2014

Patient Safety Order Materials FAQs

.PDF | 363.04 KB

This DoD Patient Safety Program document outlines the frequently asked questions in reference to ordering patient safety materials from the Patient Safety portion of the Health.mil website. The document includes vital contact information for assistance and account registration information.

Technical Document
Apr 2, 2014

Sustainment Guide for Reducing Harm Associated with Patient Falls

.PDF | 428.63 KB

This Falls Sustainment Guide supports the 2012 - 2013 Military Health System (MHS) Partnership for Patients initiative to improve the quality and safety of health care in all Department of Defense (DoD) Medical Treatment Facilities (MTF). The purpose of this Falls Sustainment Guide is to provide the tools and resources to ensure a reduction in falls ...

Policy
Mar 10, 2014

Federal Regulation: #Army MEDCOM Regulation 40-59, Standardization of Inpatient Falls Risk Assessment and Documentation Falls Prevention Program

This regulation directs standardized implementation of endorsed evidence-based falls risk assessment tools: the Johns Hopkins Hospital Fall Risk Assessment© (adult) and the Miami Children’s Hospital’s Humpty Dumpty Scale© (pediatric). In addition, this regulation requires incorporation of falls assessment documentation into the inpatient (Essentris) ...

  • Identification #: Army MEDCOM Regulation 40-59
  • Type: Federal Regulation
Technical Document
Feb 11, 2014

Implementation Guide for Falls

.PDF | 641.27 KB

The Falls Implementation Guide was created to support the Partnership for Patients, a national initiative sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services to reduce harm in health care facilities.

Policy
Jan 31, 2014

Federal Regulation: #Army MEDCOM Regulation 40-48, Fires Associated with the Performance of Surgical Procedures

The purpose of this regulation is to provide policy and recommendations that will help ensure minimal risk of fires associated with the performance of surgical procedures in any healthcare setting to include, but not limited to, the following: operating room (OR), office-based, ambulatory surgery, and intensive care unit type.

  • Identification #: Army MEDCOM Regulation 40-48
  • Type: Federal Regulation
Technical Document
Jan 24, 2014

Sustainment Guide for Adverse Drug Events

.PDF | 623.35 KB

The lessons learned through the Military Health System (MHS) Adverse Drug Event (ADE) implementation process have led to the development of an improved Sustainment Guide. This sustainment guide includes the elimination of monitoring the therapeutic class of Sedatives, implementing processes to improve the integrity of data, clarification of ...

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
Last Updated: April 26, 2024
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery