Get Ideas for Recognizing the Week

​People around the globe observed Patient Safety Awareness Week in creative ways. Here are just a few examples to inspire others:

United States


Kootenai Health, based in Coeur D'Alene, recognized staff  ​had a recent "Good Catch"  with Swedish Fish and Goldfish prizes. The team also hosted a viewing party for the IHI free Virtual Learning Hour and a screening of a patient safety documentary, and held a Safety Fair and poster contest. To promote the event, images of staff and quotes from staff and patients were placed on cafe tables.


Deaconess Health System, based in Evansville, had a number of activities planned, including a bulletin board competition through which departments could show their "patient safety destination" (hand washing, fall reduction, etc.). They also gave "Speak Up" awards, chosen through peer nominations and awarded to staff who speak up to advocate and keep their patients' safe. A life-sized cut-out of their patient safety mascot, Safety Sam, conveyed patient safety messages throughout the week. The team planned to share the results of the competitions and the creative efforts at the organization's Safety Ambassador Committee meeting, Patient Safety Committee, Leadership Meeting, and on the hospital's internal webpage.


Community Medical Center in Missoula planned to do a safety display highlighting the five patient incident posters that are displayed on the organization's website. They were to be displayed with safety behaviors used in the institution and a list of Safety Champions for the past year. The team also planned to provide a suggestion box for ways to make the hospital safer, and had a room occupied by "Miss Mayhem," with a prize for a person who identified all of the safety issues in the room. Staff were able to sign a huge copy of a Pledge Poster as they entered the display. The poster will be moved from one department to another at intervals during the coming year as a reminder to staff about patient safety.

New Jersey

Centrastate Medical Center in Freehold planned to display banners prominently at the main hospital entrances. The team also created trivia activities to test staff knowledge of patient safety, with opportunities throughout the week to be entered into drawings for gift cards. They ended the week with a complimentary ice cream treat for staff.


Dell Seton Medical Center, in collaboration with UT Austin Dell Medical School, hosted a series of interactive talks from local experts to highlight safety culture. Among the topics were health equity, patient experience, wellness, costs of care, and an interprofessional happy hour.



Zaruhi Bagiyan of Do Not Harm, a health care-related NGO based in Yerevan, reports that the organization created a series of videos about patient safety to be shared on their website and on social media.


Red de Salud UC CHRISTUS, located in Santiago de Chile, marked its sixth Patient Safety Awareness Week with activities like leadership roundings, challenging teams to develop ideas about patient safety and share them on a public whiteboard and a photography competition, "Safety in Images." The staff also took an annual patient safety survey, and held an International Conference of Patient Safety and Quality. Activities were aimed at engaging clinical and not clinical staff alike.


Rebecca Wilkins of Frenchay Brain Injury Unit in Bristol, England, reported that the organization was planning to hold a series of themed awareness days to demonstrate what the organization does to keep patients safe. Themes included clinical observations, falls prevention, swallowing awareness, sepsis/DVT prevention, and infection control.


Michael Khan reported that Guam Regional Medical City had a themed event for each day of Patient Safety Awareness Week, from poster presentations on fall prevention to a "room of horrors" and awards for "Good Catch" submissions. ​


In Kildare, Rotunda Hospital, a stand-alone maternity hospital, held a series of initiatives aimed at staff and patients to promote patient safety. They included a display of patient safety projects that have made a real impact on patient care, a patient information booth informing patients of what the hospital does to keep them safe and advising them of what they can do to help staff to keep them safe. The finale was short presentations from multidisciplinary staff comprising patient safety themes.

Saudi Arabia

At King Fahad Hospital Hofuf, Saudi Minstry of Health, Jawaher Al Hemaid, Director of Quality & Patient Safety publicly shared stories​ and lessons learned from five incidents reported during the second quarter of 2019 via their reporting system. The incidents ranged from inappropriate patient identification to incorrect drug dispensed (look-alike, sound alike). The incidents were analyzed by the Quality & Patient Safety Team and the relevant departments to prevent recurrence. By making them public, they hoped others could learn and benefit.​

2019 Activities

In the United States


Lisa Kuprel of Maui Memorial Medical Center reported that the team there used storytelling in an interactive presentation to staff.


Tracy Fok reported that the medical staff at Scott Air Force Base held a patient safety poster contest during Patient Safety Awareness Week.


Teresa Robitaille told us that Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services brought a team together to watch and listen to the Patient Safety Awareness Week free webcast and also created word-search puzzles with health care quality and safety words and phrases.


Omar Yaghi of Tufts Medical Center and The Floating Hospital for Children noted that Patient Safety Awareness Week coincided with the Safety Culture Survey at his organization. Patients and staff members took the IHI PSAW pledge and signed a "Safety Starts With Me" poster, which was displayed in the hospital's main atrium.

The Quality Improvement and Patient Safety staff members offered information to increase patient safety awareness and encourage reporting of safety events as part of The "Quantros/Good Catch" initiative, and will hold educational sessions open for staff on process mapping and fishbone diagram.


Kay Scott of Residential Home Health and Hospice wwrote an article on safety for her organization’s website.


Lisa Juliar of the Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety (MAPS) described her organizations belief that sharing stories and experiences helps all stakeholders understand the impact of preventable errors and unexpected experiences in the delivery of care. The organization invited its members to create a patient story gallery in their facilities using the innovative story boards MAPS co-created with five patient partners to illustrate their challenging health care journeys.

New York

Robin Moulder of Memorial Sloan Kettering reported that the Division of Quality & Safety presented "Patient Safety Lightning Rounds" during Patient Safety Awareness Week. This event is a fast-paced, interactive series of roundtable discussions led by subject matter experts on institutional safety initiatives. The event was open to all staff.


Kendra Wood of Southwest General in Middleburg Heights said that during Patient Safety Awareness Week her organization sent daily emails with safety tips.


Michael Neiman and the team at St. Christopher Hospital for Children scheduled for every day of the week, including hand-washing demonstrations that show what’s missed and activities to boost patient engagement.

Rhode Island

Heather Harris and the team at South County Health put a special focus on education about patient ID for the 2019 activities.


Rhonda Bowen and the team at Olympic Medical Center got staff together to listen in to the free IHI webcast. They alsooffered information in the cafeteria, via posters, and via emails to all staff highlighting PSAW and the hospitals safety intiatives.

They also released a special edition of their “Safety Minute — Guardians of Safety” video focused on Patient Safety Awareness Week.

Shanda Johnson reported that Seattle Children's Hospital had a full week of activities planned. On Monday, senior leaders thanked staff for their commitment to safety and handed out swag/stickers at the front entrances of our hospital. Tuesday brought Quality and Safety Poster Walkarounds (highlighting staff quality and safety improvement work) and a booth for patients and families to learn more about what patient safety means for them. On Wednesday the team held a screening of the documentary, "To Err is Human." Thursday was the annual Safety Coach/Safety Leader Celebratory Luncheon, and Friday offered a second screening of the documentary.

The organization will also feature personal statement posters and a large poster for folks to pledge their commitment to safety.

International Observations

Abu Dhabi

Ezhil Govindaraj of Mafarq Hospital reports that the teams there will be recognizing Patient Safety Awareness Week by conducting a collage competition with the theme “Why Safety Matters to You.” They will also be holding a Quality and Patient Safety Symposium and offering quizzes and games for staff.


Larry Denning of US Naval Hospital Yokosuka reports that his team has myriad activities planned, including a “room of horrors” for staff to identify safety risks; an ice cream social where staff can ask and answer patient safety questions; and a “Good Catch” award ceremony for the night staff.


Mohammed Elfatih Alamin of Altababa Advanced Health Solutions reports that the organization is holding an event for all health care providers to learn about patient safety, best practices, high reliability practices, and examples of patient safety practices.


Dr. Lubna Mushtaque of Tabba Heart Institute Karachi writes that the organization is conducting a culture of safety survey during Patient Safety Awareness Week, as well as presenting a webinar and a presentation on patient feedback.

Saudi Arabia

Anas Amr of the Saudi Patient Safety Center reports that the center will be active on Twitter discussing patient safety initiatives, such as medication safety, reporting, measuring safety culture, patient empowerment, and innovation. Collaborating hospitals are asked to highlight national initiatives in patient safety.