Patient Safety Awareness Week

by Sports PT Director of Clinical Operations Dr. Teresa Lindell, PT, DPT, OCS


What is more important than one’s health and safety?


Many would say nothing!  March 13-19th is Patient Safety Awareness Week.  Some studies suggest that as many as 400,000 deaths occur in the United States each year as a result of errors or preventable harm. Not every case of harm results in death, yet they can cause long-term impact on the patient’s physical health, emotional health, financial well-being, or family relationships.


What can you do to protect yourself and your family?


  • Records: Keep complete health records for yourself and update regularly. This should include any allergies, adverse medical reactions, medical history, and surgical history.  Present this to every health care provider that you see.


  • Research your Providers: All licensed providers are listed in the state’s website with their updated information. You can also look on the CMS website for utilization by your providers to check for any unusual billing activity.  Your state board has a list of any fraudulent or abusive charges brought up against providers and penalties imposed.  Finally, you can always look for reviews on trusted internet sites from other people who have visited the practice.


  • Visit the practice: You can always go visit a practice to get a feel for how they operate. Are they following proper infection control? Is it clean? Is the staff friendly and helpful? Are the conditions safe?


  • Advocate for yourself and your family: Unfortunately many incidents happen to the most vulnerable populations: children, low-income families, and the elderly are at higher risk for safety incidents. Whenever possible, attend appointments for family members at high risk to help them advocate for themselves.  If you yourself are uncomfortable with your healthcare, you should never be intimidated and speak up immediately.


By following these steps, you can help to ensure you and your family are healthy and safe!