New SAFE CARE Program to Provide Patient Education at the Bedside

Encouraging patients and their families to take an active role in their healthcare by becoming involved and informed is critical. In celebration of Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 4-10, 2012, a unique patient safety education program will be released to provide patients and their families with instant access to current patient safety videos at their bedside and while receiving care.

The 2012 SAFE CARE Patient Safety Education Program is a free offering developed to assist healthcare organizations in educating patients to help prevent medical errors. The campaign features videos from the Joint Commissions Speak Up campaign, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Kimberly-Clark, the Patient Channel® from The Wellness Network, and Safe Care Campaign. The goal of the SAFE CARE Patient Safety Education Program is to save lives, prevent harm and help patients receive safer care.

The SAFE CARE Program utilizes free posters that hospitals can hang in patient rooms which allows patients and families to instantly access and watch safety videos by topic on their own smart phones by simply pointing a smart phone at a QR code on the poster, or texting the word SAFE to 411247 to receive a link to Safe Cares safety video library.  The nine short videos address the most common patient safety issues in hospitals such as hand hygiene, preventing infections, avoiding medication errors, patient falls, and more. Organizations are also able to customize the videos for a nominal fee.

We are making important safety information available to patients and their families 24/7 with no training or time obligation whatsoever from the hospital care staff, says Victoria Nahum, executive director of the SAFE CARE Campaign. These videos show how to receive the safest care possible and we put it right into the hands of the patients and their families right when they need it most - while they're at the bedside.

We know that the more patients are involved in their care the less likely there will be a bad outcome such as a medication mix-up or a health care-associated infection, says Cathy Barry-Ipema, chief communications officer for the Joint Commission. This campaign gives patients the information they need to speak up and be active participants in their healthcare.

"Being informed by asking the right questions, gathering information and gleaning knowledge is one of the most powerful ways for patients and caregivers to join with medical professionals to ensure safe and effective outcomes," says Joanne Bauer, president of Kimberly-Clark Health Care. "As part of patient safety, we believe that infection prevention is everyones responsibility, so we are supporting the Safe Care Patient Safety Education Program designed to educate patients, caregivers and visitors about what to address when preparing for or receiving medical care.  Kimberly-Clark has long been committed to providing the essentials that restore patients from crisis to better health and improve the quality of their lives.  Our participation in this important initiative is yet another way in which we hope to reach consumers with potentially life-saving information and to further support medical professionals in helping them prevent the spread of healthcare-associated infections."

Arjun Srinivasan, MD, associate director of Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Programs for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," says, "Patients have a right to know that they are receiving safe care. We hope that educational materials, like these, will empower patients to start a discussion with their healthcare provider about what can be done to prevent infections during their medical care."