Every year on May 5, health care professionals around the world recognize World Hand Hygiene Day, a global movement led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness about the importance of hand hygiene in health care.
Massachusetts General Hospital kicked off this year’s National Patient Safety Awareness Week—March 14 to 20—by recognizing and celebrating the more than 400 staff members who went above and beyond to advance patient and staff safety. This year more nominations were submitted than any previous year and 45 individuals and 22 teams were honored virtually March 15 as 2021 Patient Safety Stars.
“National Patient Safety Awareness Week is a time to pause and recognize that patient safety is essential to everything we do,” said Timothy Ferris, MD, MGPO CEO. “It’s a time to honor those who speak up when something is not right and who make patient safety their personal commitment. Every great organization needs exemplars—the individuals who live up to the highest ideals of the organization and therefore serve as leaders through their behavior. Behavior that everyone in the institution should follow. Recognizing you for that exemplary behavior is just a small part of what we can do for you.”
Individuals and teams were honored this year for a variety of initiatives, including patient equity, reducing patient harm and addressing patient and workforce safety. Some of those groups included the COVID Inpatient On-boarding Team—who worked tirelessly to provide care to the COVID-19 surge of inpatients and whose on-boarding system has been shared nationally—the Materials Management Supply team—who worked nonstop this past year to ensure that appropriate and safe supplies and personal protective equipment were available—and the Peer Support Advisory Committee. The full list of individual and team Patient Safety Stars can be viewed here (PDF).
“At the beginning of this year we shared our highest priority quality and safety goals with our workforce and asked each of you to do what you can to help,” said Liz Mort, MD, senior vice president for Quality & Safety. “One of those goals was to help advance equity in health care—so that all of our patients, no matter what their background—have the opportunity to get the best experience, and safe and high-quality care. So many of you addressed that goal and many others including working hard to keep our workforce safe. Thank you for all you’ve done this last year, and I encourage you to keep your eye on the prize—ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for all. Please keep doing what you’re doing and please reach out to your colleagues to encourage them to join you as safety champions at Mass General.”
During the ceremony, Ferris said, “These stories are really powerful and important reminders of the challenges we face in delivering great care, and I cannot emphasize enough how much the outcomes of care we provide are ultimately determined by teamwork. Congratulations to our 2021 Patient Safety Stars for your unwavering dedication to this organization and its patients. The hospital is safer and better because of your commitment.”
The ceremony was recorded and is available for viewing.
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