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Home : News : News
NEWS | March 3, 2014

Patient Safety Awareness Week begins March 3

By Airman Justine K. Rho 502 Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The National Patient Safety Foundation has scheduled the annual Patient Safety Awareness Week for March 3-7.

The 59th Medical Wing staff, here at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, would like to celebrate Patient Safety Awareness Week by hosting the opening ceremony event in Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center Atrium March 3 at 1 p.m. This year's theme is "Navigate your Health... Safely" with a focus on helping patients become stakeholders in their health care by learning how they can become an integral member of their health care team.

The opening ceremony will kick-start the Patient Safety Awareness week by showcasing educational programs that coincide with this year's theme. A program highlighted this year is Ask Me 3®, which is intended to promote communication between patients and health care providers. The program suggests three questions patients can ask their health care providers during their medical encounter: What is my main problem? What do I need to do? Why is it important for me to do this?

"As we know, health care today is extremely complex," said the president of the National Patient Safety Foundation, Tejal Gandhi. "All of us will be patients at some point in life, and we should approach that experience the way we would approach any important journey- with careful planning and communication."

The 59th MDW highlights Patient Safety Awareness Week because the Department of Defense focuses on the safety of their patients through quality medical care. Evidence shows that patients who understand the instructions provided during medical appointments make fewer mistakes when taking prescribed medications or preparing for a medical procedure, said the U.S. DOD Patient Safety Program website. This understanding helps reduce patient recovery time after procedures and enables them to better manage chronic health conditions.

Col. Nancy Dezell, the 59th MDW vice commander, will give the initial remarks at the opening ceremony. Guests will be encouraged to visit informational booths, which will have handouts and promotional items about patient safety, and enjoy a performance by the U.S. Air Force Band of the West.

For more information on Patient Safety Awareness Week, visit the NPSF webpage at