By Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)
9 years ago today, I started the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety with a simple mission – advocate for improved safety and care of patients by developing and highlighting best practices and recommendations through better use and application of clinical practices and experiences, information technologies and checklists, and healthcare information.
In many ways, this cry for improvement focuses on systems – responsibility does not lie at the feet of the individual – for example through:
- Standardization of processes, such as through the PCA Safety Checklist, which reminds caregivers of the essential steps needed to be taken to initiate PCA with a patient, and to continue to assess that patient’s use of PCA.
- Highlighting of clinician recommendations, such as through our clinical education podcasts and videos (which are housed in our YouTube channel).
- Retelling patient stories to encourage change, such as that of 17-year old Logan and 18-year old Tyler.
However, nothing in the last 9 years could have prepared us for the COVID pandemic. As of July 26, the WHO reports that there have been almost 16 million confirmed cases and more than 640,000 deaths.
To end this pandemic, we must as individuals must do our part, however small it may seem. Although much of the responsibility lies at the feet of leaders – as Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Director-General, WHO) so passionately reminded us:
“My friends, make no mistake: The greatest threat we face now is not the virus itself. Rather, it’s the lack of leadership and solidarity at the global and national levels.”
We each can keep ourselves, our loved ones, friends and community as safe as possible by helping to stop spread COVID:
Just 3 small things each of us can do to promote health and safety:
- Wear a cloth mask
- Practice social distancing
- Wash hands often
Your family, friends, and community will thank you for it.