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    A Germ of an Idea for Patient Safety Awareness Week

    A Germ of an Idea for Patient Safety Awareness Week

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | They’re everywhere. The dirty truth is they’re unavoidable. The uncomfortable...... read more read more

    They’re everywhere.

    The dirty truth is they’re unavoidable.

    The uncomfortable reality is they can cause a world of hurt.

    From countertops and cutting boards to television remotes and cell phones, the immediate world of many – sight unseen - has a host of germs readily intent on meeting anyone, anytime and anywhere.

    To remind people of just how prevalent and pervasive germs are, in conjunction with National Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 13-19, 2022, Naval Hospital Bremerton presented a colorful exhibition highlighting the role of germs in daily life, for all staff and patient, as well as visitor.

    According to Mayda Schaefer, command patient safety analyst and prime architect of the annual eye-catching and informative exhibition, NHB’S theme is a twist of the Department of Defense suggested theme, “Standardizing Safety Solutions: Uniting for Ready, Reliable Care,” with ‘Ready Reliable Germs…Uniting to meet you!”

    “We tried to brighten up the theme by making the germs ‘available’ as dating options to make the week fun as well as educational. We wanted to add a bit of humor and interweave the important information with fun facts and good tips to help people remember better,” explained Schaefer.

    From explaining just what exactly germs are to how they can enter a person’s body to where they come from, there was even a heart-shaped explanation detailing that there are four different germ types – bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa - some more dangerous and/or harmful than the next.

    Since viruses and bacteria are the most common types of germs and sicken many, a descriptive host of amusing and unpleasant facts – “that will get you cleaning” – was shared about each, such as, the average office desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet handle; cell phone(s) have 10 times more bacteria than your toilet; a person is 1,000 times more likely to spread bacteria with damp hands; it takes one person with a virus just four hours to contaminate 50 percent of all the equipment and employees in the office; when two people smooch, they exchange between 10 million and one billion bacteria, and all the collective bacteria in a person’s body weighs four pounds.

    Yet all specifics about germs aren’t negative. As a tasty example, it’s noted that chocolate has an anti-bacterial effect on the mouth and protects against tooth decay.

    On display also were several notable – and communal - germs cast as cartoonish characters, including Bronchitis, the common cold, strep throat, influenza, pertussis, and of course, COVID-19.

    There were tips provided on how to stop the spread of such germs, such as to avoid close contact with people who are at risk; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it away; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; stay home when sick, except to get medical care; and most important, wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer often.

    “It’s important to learn about germs, so we can better understand how to protect ourselves, each other and our patients from the ones that could make us sick and easily spread in our healthcare environment and also our home(s),” Schaefer said.

    Also held in conjunction with National Patient Safety Week was the command’s Performance Improvement Fair.

    The annual campaign over the past dozen-plus years has gone to tropical, medieval, even Jurassic lengths of extravagant efforts to educate and even entertain to staff, patients and visitor on the importance of patient in the healthcare setting.

    “As always, the work involved was a team effort and a reflection of all of my Quality Management co-workers and Lt. Cmdr. Shingmei Chang who led the Continuous Process Improvement Fair,” said Schaefer.

    The CPI Fair showcased half a dozen submissions all predicated on making a measurable impact, sustainable benefit on either clinical or administrative practices and helping to contribute to a culture of patient safety and high reliability.

    The six projects on display (with winners still to be determined) were:
    • “Saving Supply-vate Ryan,” by Lt. Jason Balazs and Hospitalman Amy Crockett
    • “Utilization of QFlow to Complete COVID Testing,” by Lt. Cmdr. Paul Flood and Lt. Caitlynn Barcheski
    • “Increase Weight Loss Pre-Op to Improve Post-Op Outcomes in Bariatric Patients,” by Lt. Lorna Brown
    • “Long Term Opioid Therapy Clinic Implementation,” by Lt Heather Walmer
    • “Reduced Dose CT Stone Protocol,” by Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Sonny Soriano
    • “Pharmacy Outpatient Fall Events,” by Ms. Catherine Udasco-Dunn

    The National Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual education and awareness campaign for healthcare safety led by the National Patient Safety Foundation. Each year, health care organizations like NHB take part in the global event with the understanding that everyone in health care has a role in delivering safe care.



    Date Taken: 03.17.2022
    Date Posted: 03.17.2022 18:09
    Story ID: 416685
    Location: BREMERTON , WA, US 

    Web Views: 303
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