Determination, tears, laughs, brainstorming and a life-changing story.
Anticipation filled my bones as the days passed, waiting for the paperwork to return with the stamp of approval. On March 30th, 2016, one of my dreams came true; I received the notification that the Victoria Baskett Patient Safety Foundation had officially become a non-profit. I sat in awe of the e-mail, as water filled my eyes.
Three years ago, I changed my life's mission and passion to educate others on the importance of being active and involved members of their healthcare team. As a rising sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill, I found myself fighting for my life, and in the same moment, becoming a survivor of a frightening healthcare statistic. Preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US, and had I not felt empowered to speak up, I would have become another number on that page. To put this in perspective, this is equivalent to one JUMBO JET full of people crashing, each and every day of the year.
Frightening right? Want to know a few more stats? Watch this brief video from the Patient Safety Movement.
For me, this non-profit is not just a personal platform, or a temporary job, but a lifestyle. It is not just about providing scholarships for students entering the healthcare industry, creating educational resources and lesson plans, or spotlighting a blog post and patient story each month; it is about going out into the public, and showing them the face behind a story that has the power to make a difference in the world of healthcare. This past month, I had an awesome opportunity to do that.
1. Cape Fear Valley Hospital Patient Safety Awareness Week Kickoff Speaker
March 13th-19th was Patient Safety Awareness Week 2016. I had the honor and privilege of kicking off the week at Cape Fear Valley Hospital in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After sharing my story, and what I believe is the direction and motivation that we need to increase patient safety, I stated with a full heart:
"I recently co-wrote an article for the North Carolina Quality Center’s Monthly Newsletter about what we believed are the Top-10 Take Aways from their recent Annual Summit on Patient and Family Engagement and Care Transitions in 10 Powerful Words. Those words are: Listen. Understand. Inspire. Engage. Utilize. Educate. Influence. Empower. Persistence. Transform. We must share our stories, motivate the common “lay-person,” provide the educational opportunities needed to improve health literacy, motivate the public to use the information to create change, and watch the transformation that will happen in the world of healthcare. We can NOT stop at word five, we have to continue through all 10; the transformation. So I ask you when you leave here, what can you do to improve patient safety past the extent that you already are? How can you transform the world of healthcare? Can you spread the message to one more person, and start a ripple effect?"
"So I ask you, what can you do to improve patient safety?"
Things To Look Out For in the Month of April:
1. National Public Health Week April 4th-10th: During the first full week of April each year, APHA brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation.
2. National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16th: National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be. The theme for 2016 is "It Always Seems Too Early, Until It’s Too Late."
3. World Voice Day on April 16th: World Voice Day exists to help others celebrate the uniqueness that lies in each of our voices, and motivate others to find their voice!
Talk to you again in May! :)