Patient Safety Awareness Week

Northwestern Medicine
Health and Wellness March 08, 2013

Doctor working carefully with a syringeEvery detail matters when it comes to providing the highest quality care that is safe and error-free. Patient Safety Awareness Week is a seven day acknowledgement of safety measures and care, but this is a 365 days a year initiative at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which is recognized as a national leader in quality and patient safety for commitment to effective practices and investment in outcomes research.

Providing quality data to the public gives patients additional resources to be more informed partners in their own healthcare decisions. Northwestern Memorial’s quality program is built on a foundation of transparency and accountability. It’s important to get the answers you’re looking for, so you need to be prepared to ask the right questions. Here are some examples of questions to help guide you in the process and ensure you receive the best quality care.


  1. Where can I find data on this hospital's patient safety performance, such as infection rates, patient falls and pressure ulcers, mortality, readmissions, patient satisfaction and surgical performance?
  2. How is this hospital working to prevent the most common types of patient safety events and harm? Here are some specific patient safety events to inquire about and discuss.
      • Medication errors
      • Infections
      • Errors in surgery
      • Patient falls
      • Pressure ulcers (bedsores)
      • Errors in blood administration
      • Blood clots after surgery
      • Unnecessary readmissions
  3. Does this hospital welcome input and suggestions from patients and families to improve care?
  4. Does this hospital welcome family and important visitors and have open visiting hours?
  5. What is the policy of this hospital regarding disclosure and partnering with patients and families when a medical error or adverse event occurs?
To view Northwestern Memorial’s quality ratings, visit this pageThe Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality* (AHRQ) is an excellent consumer resource for these topics as well.

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