Northwest Navigator: News and Information from Navy Region Northwest in Washington State's Puget Sound, including Bremerton, Kitsap County, Oak Harbor, and Everett

Patient safety expo bridges medieval with modern

Douglas H. Stutz
Staff members at Naval Hospital Bremerton mingle before the kick off the medieval themed National Patient Safety Week that focused on continuing awareness by comparing and contrasting the middles ages with the modern.

Patients, staff, and visitors at Naval Hospital Bremerton took part in the National Patient Safety Week expo, March 7. NHB went ‘medieval’ all week to celebrate the annual event, setting up an elaborate mock castle display, featuring ramparts festooned with 2011 National Patient Safety Goals exhibited in middle ages motifs.

“Our annual National Patient Safety Week provides the perfect opportunity to get command leadership, staff members and patients to interact and address key salient points in a new manner,” said Cmdr. Sally Butler, quality management officer-in-charge. “The entire week lets us focus on the National Patient Safety Goals with everyone.”

The purpose of the National Patient Safety Goals is to promote specific improvements in patient safety. The goals focus on problem areas in health care safety and how to solve them. The Joint Commission approved the first set of NPSGs in July 2002.

Hanging from the ramparts were decorative shield emblems displaying the 2011 National Patient Safety Goals for hospitals that consisted of; ‘Improving the accuracy of patient identification’; ‘improving the effectiveness of communication among caregivers’; ‘improving the safety of using medications’; ‘reducing the risk of health care-associated infections’; ‘accurately and completely reconcile medications across the continuum of care’; and ‘identifying safety risks inherent in patient population.’

Despite the visual castle-setting, brainstorming for the exhibit and constructing the extensive prop came with unintended limitations. “

We did find it difficult to find things that were appropriate for our display,” said Mondee Norton, quality management clerk. “In the period of the Middle Ages (5th through 15th century), a lot of people died from the treatment, not just the ailment. It was a barber that did surgery and a doctor that prescribed medicines, both with sometimes fatal consequences. Performance of improvement wasn’t widespread.”

In medieval time, an example of performance improvement was when some surgeons (or barber) at that time specialized in removing arrowheads out of their patient. As they became more successful, a new type of arrow would be invented and used and then the surgeon would have to alter and improve his procedure to continually be effective. A much more current version of performance improvement was recently recognized at NHB by being selected for the 2010 DoD Patient Safety Award for creating a safer patient environment with a high level disinfectant project.

There was even a ‘Moat of Complacency.’ a gentle reminder to refrain from taking everyday occurrences concerning patient safety for granted. One wrong step and it’s sink or swim for both patient and provider.

“We view our patients and their families as key parts of our overall healthcare team,” said Butler. 

Home | Classifieds | Search | Advertising | Subscribe | Contact | About Us | Privacy Policy | Copyright | Standards | News Feeds