National Patient Safety Awareness Week March 6-12


This week, March 6-12, marks National Patient Safety Awareness Week. This initiative is sponsored by the National Patient Safety Foundation which was founded in 1997. The goal of this foundation is to improve the safety of care for patients by providing information and education to healthcare providers and healthcare consumers. This year’s theme is “Ask Me 3.”

The NPSF website provides information for healthcare providers on health literacy and how to reach out to patients to provide them with education on learning about their conditions. It also provides information on how to talk to your health care team and get the information you need. Ask Me 3 refers to three main questions you should ask regarding your health, lab results or medications.

The questions are: “What is my main problem?” “What do I need to do?” “Why is it important for me to do this?” Who do you ask? Ask your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, dietitian, physical therapist, whoever is providing you with the care you are receiving. Ask when you receive a new diagnosis, treatment, medication or to help prepare for tests. The more you know and understand, the better able to take care of yourself and manage your health you become.

Ask until you understand! Every pharmacist I have ever talked to has been more than happy to explain anything I needed to know about my medication. My doctors have been very good about answering questions about my health conditions. As a nurse, one of my favorite things is patient education. If a health care provider gets annoyed or dismisses you asking questions about your illness, care, or treatment regimen, then they are not likely the doctor for you.

Ask! Learn! Know! Keep yourself safe! For more information on this and other patient safety initiatives, you can visit and

Article written by Staff Writer, Agnes Reis

 Agnes is a nursing student in Minnesota.  She was diagnosed with CFIDs in 1999 followed by fibromyalgia the following year, along with lifelong allergies, asthma and migraines. She can be found at or @brigid22 on twitter, but cautions twitter followers that there’s a heavy dose of sports and nursing along with the spoons.