Skip to main content Back to Top

Ideas to Celebrate Patient Safety Awareness Week

March 12-18, 2023

Patient Safety Awareness Week serves as a dedicated time and platform for growing awareness about patient safety and recognizing the work already being done. This annual recognition event encourages everyone to learn more about health care safety. During this week, organizations inspire action to improve the safety of the health care system — for patients and the workforce.

Pharmacy departments are intimately involved in promoting medication use safety during Patient Safety Awareness Week. Here are some ideas that can be utilized to create your own patient safety awareness week celebration.

Also, listen to this 10-minute conversation with members of the Section Advisory Group on Medication Safety as they discuss their favorite ideas to implement.

Easiest To Implement Ideas

  • Daily Themes – Highlight a different patient safety theme every day of the week. One theme could be ‘The History of Patient Safety’ where current practices can be compared to how it was done previously (e.g., 30 years ago) to showcase how safety has evolved.
  • Digital Poster / Screensaver/ Virtual Background – Use a digital poster at workstation computers so that every computer in the health-system suddenly becomes a “poster” for patient safety! It can double as a virtual background for online meetings. Feel free to use this one or create one of your own.
    Patient Safety Background 2023
  • Good Catches – Share patient safety “good catches.” Consider conducting a contest for the good catches and/or an “All-Star Award.”
  • Good Catch Recognition – Recognize those who have made “good catches” in the past year. To go a step beyond, incorporate “good catch recognition” as part of the organization’s daily huddle year-round.
  • Medication Without Harm – Utilize infographics, video, and/or presentation designed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for their Medication Without Harm campaign.
  • Patient Safety Story – Share a local or national patient safety story and how your organization has used that to improve patient safety within your organization.
  • Patient Safety Stars – Recognize Patient Safety Stars from pharmacy and other departments.
  • Professional Organizations – Share newsletters/articles from professional safety organizations highlighting patient safety work being done across the US.
  • Snacks and treats – Celebrate Patient Safety Week with snacks and treats consistent with your organization’s policies.

Moderately Difficult To Implement Ideas

  • Be Visible – Visit pharmacies and other departments to promote pharmacy patient safety initiatives.
  • Grand Rounds – Present virtually or a pre-recorded presentation on medication-use and patient safety at a Virtual Grand Rounds.
  • Promote Pharmacy’s Role on Interdisciplinary Team Initiatives Highlight the important role of pharmacists as members of the patient safety team.
  • Partnering with Poison Control Centers Set up virtual displays or supply information for children and parents to learn about medication safety. 
  • Posters – Display posters around your institution highlighting the important role that pharmacy has in patient safety.
  • Virtual Games with Prizes – Offer games on patient safety initiatives. Prizes are a bonus!
  • Webinars, Podcasts, and Live Presentations on Patient Safety – Develop CE activities and include interdisciplinary team effort.

Most Difficult To Implement Ideas

  • Patient Safety Choose Your Own Adventure – Develop an interactive in-person game or online module that presents the learner with a scenario and has them make choices along the way that lead toward different patient outcomes.
  • Keynote Speaker – Set up a virtual or pre-recorded presentation by a local or national patient safety expert.
  • Presentations to Schools of Pharmacy  – In collaboration with patient safety and/or medication safety leaders in your local area, organize Patient Safety presentations to local schools of pharmacy to bring awareness to Patient Safety. This could also be a good time to highlight Medication Use Safety and Policy Residencies!
  • Promote Organizational Commitment to Patient Safety  – If policies allow, promote your organization’s commitment to patient safety via local news outlets.
  • Promote Patient Safety at State Professional Organizations  – Advocate for promoting patient safety and/or medication safety at your state professional organization. Encourage the development of a safety focus group or collaborative.
  • Room of Horrors – Show pictures of rooms with patient safety dangers, such as fall hazards, medication administration, infection control, and other hazards. Offer prizes for the person who identifies the most.
  • Video Contest – Involve all departments in the organization by asking for video submissions on patient safety.
  • Virtual Pharmacy Tours – Conduct tours of the department to showcase pharmacy patient safety initiatives and help other health care professionals to understand the medication use process and pharmacy’s important role in patient safety.


Other Resources

Medication Use Safety 

Patient Safety Bibliography

WHO Medication Without Harm INFOGRAPHICS

WHO Medication Without Harm PRESENTATION

WHO Medication Without Harm VIDEO

Member Only

Join ASHP today to get access to the full content