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Patient Safety Awareness Week More Critical Than Ever in 2021

Hospital news | Monday, March 15, 2021

Contact: Denise McMahan, RN

Cuero, TX - Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 14-20, falls during a critical time in our nation’s healthcare given coronavirus (COVID-19), as well as other major patient safety issues like medication management, fall prevention, sepsis, handwashing and more. Cuero Regional Hospital wants to ensure these critical safety issues stay top of mind as we care for our community.

​​​​​​About the Initiative
Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual recognition event intended to encourage everyone to learn more about health care safety. During this week, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) seeks to advance important discussions locally and globally, and inspire action to improve the safety of the health care system — for patients and the workforce.

“Patient Safety Awareness Week serves as a dedicated time for increasing awareness about patient safety issues, as well as recognizing our amazing staff for their strides in improving patient safety. Over the past year, our Cuero Health team has consistently focused on the use of two patient identifiers to assure we deliver the right care to the right person; as well as proper handwashing and sepsis prevention ,” said Denise McMahan, Assistant Administrator at Cuero Regional Hospital. "Of course we continue our masking protocols at all Cuero Health facilities, as well as the key CDC best practices regarding protecting our patients, visitors and staff from COVID-19."

Why a Focus on Safety?
Although there has been real progress made in patient safety over the past two decades, current estimates cite medical harm as a leading cause of death worldwide, according to the IHI website. The World Health Organization reported some 40 percent of patients experience harm in ambulatory and primary care settings with an estimated 80 percent of these harms being preventable. “Locally, our staff and our patients have to be mindful of their surroundings, as well as doing everything in their power to avoid medical errors. At Cuero Regional Hospital, we continue to focus on the key fundamentals of patient safety – proper handwashing, using two patient identifiers, ensuring a safe environment, etc. to keep both our staff and patients safe,” said McMahan.

Per the IHI’s website, 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. “Given this statistic, we have to do our part to prevent errors or harm to our patients. Keeping this top of mind not just during Patient Safety Awareness Week, but throughout the year via staff reminders, training, education, department meetings, etc., we can keep this critical issue at the forefront of all we do,” said McMahan.

“With COVID-19, patient safety awareness week really hits home this year,” said McMahan. "This time last year, we were just entering the pandemic. It is incredible to see our Cuero Health staff response to the pandemic and the continued measures in place to protect and fight COVID-19."

For more information, McMahan encourages the public to stay informed on the latest regarding the coronavirus via the CDC’s website -, as well as the Texas Department of State Health Services website -

“Everyone interacts with the health care system at some point in their life. And, everyone at Cuero Regional Hospital and our clinics have a role to play in advancing safe health care practices and procedures. We will continue to provide patient safety training and resources to our staff to ensure that we are doing everything in our power to protect our patients and improve our quality care to those we so proudly serve and have served for the past 50+ years,” said Lynn Falcone, CEO of Cuero Health.