Learn about membership options orRegister for a non-member account
Log in / Register
Login / Register
While hospital executives and other healthcare providers have been leading the charge in improving patient safety in the hospital setting, a new collaboration aims to use mobile technology to educate patients and their families as well.
Kimberly-Clark's Roswell, Ga.-based healthcare business and the national Safe Care Campaign have teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Joint Commission’s Speak Up Educational Campaign and the Patient Channel to launch the QR (Quick Response) Code Patient Safety Education Program. The program equips hospitals with free posters directing patients and their families via QR code to an ever-growing online library of patient information videos.
“When they’re in the hospital, patients and their families don’t have the time to research safety,” said Victoria Nahum, executive director of the Mableton, Ga.-based Safe Care Campaign. “They want information fast. They don’t have want to read brochures.”
Nahum is very familiar with the need for patient and the national effort to reduce hospital-acquired infections. She and her husband, Armando, formed the Safe Care Campaign in 2006 after three members of their family (including Victoria) acquired HAIs in three different hospitals in three different states within 10 months. Their son, Joshua, 27, was hospitalized following a skydiving accident in 2006, developed three separate infections during his medical care, became a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic and died as a result of the infections.
Nahum said she came upon the idea of a national campaign directed at patients and their families after attending a National Quality Forum event in 2011 with Peter Pronovost, an intensive care specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore who had developed a patient safety checklist protocol, and learning that only 12 percent of hospitals surveyed by the NQF had a patient education program in place.
“I wanted to figure out a way to help these hospitals get information to the parents” without burdening staff or executives, she said.
“Infection prevention is everyone’s responsibility,” said Joanne Bauer, president of Kimberly-Clark Health Care, in a press release. “One of the most powerful ways in which patients and caregivers can join medical professionals in helping to ensure safe and effective outcomes is by asking the right questions, gathering information and gleaning knowledge.”
As currently configured, the program offers instant access via QR app or text message to a library of nine educational videos on the most common patient safety issues – hand hygiene, surgical infections, blood stream infections, medication errors, urinary catheter infections, errors during medical care, patient falls, ventilator-related issues and a clean healthcare environment.
Nahum said the initiative was launched in February and has been embraced by hundreds of hospitals around the nation, some of which have modified the program for specific departments, like surgery or maternity. She said the library will grow as more videos and more patient safety issues are identified.
“As we get them, we’re going to be offering more and more and more,” she said.
According to statistics compiled by the Safe Care Campaign, more than 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections are reported in the United States each year, affecting 4,600 patients and killing 271, on average, each day. Other studies have pegged the cost of HAIs at between $28 billion and $33 billion each year.
Campaign officials say this program could reduce HAIs by 40 percent by 2013 (compared to 2010 figures), preventing about 1.8 million injuries and saving more than 60,000 lives.
More information about formatting options