Wednesday, October 21, 2020

(Courtesy of St. Mary’s General Hospital) September 17 was World Patient Safety Day as endorsed by all 194 World Health Organization (WHO) member states at the 72nd World Health Assembly. The objectives of World Patient Safety Day are to increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding and spur global solidarity and action to promote patient safety.

Patient safety is a global concern as reported by WHO in magnitude, incidence and costs. Up to four out of 10 patients are harmed in primary- and ambulatory-care settings. Each year, 134 million adverse events occur in hospitals in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), contributing to 2.6 million deaths annually due to unsafe care. Medication errors cost an estimated $42 billion USD annually.1

“At St. Mary’s General Hospital, every day is patient safety day,” said Karin Stalter, RN, MSN, CNL, OCN, chief nursing officer. “Our staff and the staff of our sister hospitals—St. Michael’s in Newark and St. Clare’s in Denville, has patient safety as a top priority, as evidenced by this year’s Patient Safety Excellence Award that complements all of our other awards. We are especially proud of our staff this year, during this COVID-19 pandemic—where they worked long, hard hours and continued to focus on patient safety!”

What Is Patient Safety?


Per the WHO definition: “Patient safety is the absence of preventable harm to a patient during the process of health care and reduction of risk of unnecessary harm associated with health care to an acceptable minimum. An acceptable minimum refers to the collective notions of given current knowledge, resources available and the context in which care was delivered weighed against the risk of non-treatment or other treatment.” 2

Patient Safety Excellence Award

To Healthgrades, patient safety measures how well a hospital prevents injuries, infections and other serious conditions based on 14 serious, potentially preventable adverse events. The Patient Safety Excellence Award recognizes hospitals that have the lowest occurrences of 14 preventable patient safety events. These hospitals are in the top 10% in the nation for patient safety.

“The focus of the Prime Healthcare hospitals is quality care and patient safety,” said George Matyjewicz, PhD, community liaison at St. Mary’s General Hospital. “Patient Safety is an organizational effort which must include clear policies, leadership capacity and capability, data to drive safety improvements and skilled health care professionals, which are all needed to ensure sustainable and significant improvements in the safety of the hospital and health care in general. These statistics become more important when you realize that of the 13 hospitals in New Jersey to receive the Patient Safety Excellence Award, three of them were members of Prime Healthcare!”

St. Mary’s General Hospital—nationally recognized, locally preferredamong the top hospitals in America for health, quality and patient safety! A center of excellence for maternal-child, the hospital has over 550 physicians and 1,200 employees, with every staff member committed to providing respectful, personalized, high-quality care—to satisfy patients’ needs and exceed their expectations. St. Mary’s General is a proud member of Prime Healthcare, which has more Patient Safety Excellence Award recipients for five consecutive years (2016-2020) than any other health system in the country including a “Top 15 Healthcare System” by Truven Health Analytics. To learn more about St. Mary’s General Hospital, visit https://www.smh-nj.com/ or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StMarysGeneral.

For more information, please contact George Matyjewicz, PhD, community liaison at [email protected]