• Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 12-19, 2023)

In honor of Patient Safety Awareness Week, Director of Quality, Patient Safety, Risk and Population, Helen Lau, RN, highlights the improvement work that the UCR Health Patient Safety Committee has completed to enhance safe care delivery to our patients.

Helen Lau, RN

The Patient Safety Committee has representation from UCR Health employees, physicians and residents. One of their key focuses in 2022 was to establish work processes with the goal of delivering safe and reliable care. The committee used the National Patient Safety Goals as the blueprint for their patient safety improvement work. Helen Lau RN, an active member of the Patient Safety Committee, notes that “these goals were created by experts, it would not be wise not to follow the Patient Safety Goals.” An example is the refinement of medication management policy to target the improvement in safe use of medications. With this, educational sessions on medication safety were provided to staff at the clinics. The team also worked on improving the process of which clinic staff reconcile patient medications. 

In addition to following the National Patient Safety Goals recommendations, the committee also standardized their medical emergency response process. Helen and the team conduct quarterly training to each clinic with realistic medical emergency scenarios allowing for staff to practice how they would respond in the case of a real medical emergency. 

Healthcare environments can be a vulnerable and anxiety-evoking place for individuals. Ensuring the safety of patients is a responsibility for everyone. Helen explains, “While patient safety is not a popular conversation topic, for us in healthcare it is second nature and feels like the right thing to do. We are passionate about keeping our patients safe and it is always on our mind. Working in healthcare is all about how we care for our patients and the way to do it is to do it safely, providing the right care at the right time to the right patient.” 

About UCR Health

UCR Health is comprised of a team of physicians, specialists and healthcare professionals dedicated to improving people’s health. With five medical offices located throughout Inland Empire and Coachella Valley, UCR Health is growing to meet the healthcare needs of the region, bringing innovative, culturally sensitive medical care to the community. Established alongside the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, UCR Health’s patient-centered primary care and specialty services deliver university-based healthcare excellence and innovation to all communities.