Hospitals stress patient safety - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hospitals stress patient safety

March 8, 2004

Tifton- As the nation's hospitals gear up for Patient Safety Awareness Week, pharmacists at Tift Regional Medical Center will be sure to put an emphasis medication education.

"40% of antibiotics are used inappropriately, meaning prescribed when not necessary," says Pharmacist Fred Moore.

He says the Center for Disease Control has launched a major campaign aimed at preventing the improper use of antibiotics. During Patient Safety Week he and his colleagues will do the same.

"The patients or the parents of the patient they perceive that they need antibiotics so they put undue pressure sometimes on the physician to prescribe antibiotics."

Still, Moore says physicians aren't the only ones creating a growing resistance to the bacteria fighting drugs.

"Friends actually call me and say I've got a sore throat and I've got two of my husband's antibiotic tablets can I start on this, and the first thing you say is number one why do you have two tablet left. I harass them and then say no it's not all right you need to go see your physician."

Pharmacists will spend the week educating patients about proper prescription drug use, but the employees will be tested on their knowledge of patient safety as well.

"We're also doing a patient safety trivia bowl here at the hospital that's going to be a competition here at the hospital amongst our different departments where they'll have to answer questions in patient safety and our emergency codes and pharmacy abbreviation and all kinds of things," says Maghan Campbell, Community Relations Specialist.

Along with the game, the hospital will spend the next five days reminding employees about the importance of implementing established patient safety practices and encouraging them to consider how they can improve them.

Patient Safety Awareness Week was first launched in March 2002. Nearly 160 hospitals and health care systems across the country will participate in the week long event.

Posted at 5:15 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com

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