As part of a national campaign to raise awareness about the importance of patient safety, leaders of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City announced the winner of the hospital's 2011 Great Catch Award, which honors care providers who identify potential threats and take action to prevent harm to patients.
The recipient of the award is Lori Roetlin, LISW, a social worker in the Burn Treatment Center at UI Hospitals and Clinics. She noted that multiple patients were coming to the unit after sustaining serious burn injuries from the use of gel fuel candles.
Roetlin contacted the State Fire Marshall's Office, and the information she provided was crucial in the issuance of a recall of the product.
Hospital leaders will honor Roetlin at a forum about patient safety on March 6. She will also attend the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) Patient Safety Congress May 23-25 in Washington, D.C.
"I have no doubt that Lori's alertness and prompt action prevented people from being seriously injured and may have even saved lives," says Kenneth Kates, CEO, UI Hospitals and Clinics. "This is a classic example of how providers, patient advocates, and other community organizations can all work together to make our health care system safer."
The NPSF designated March 4-10 as Patient Safety Awareness Week. In addition, March is National Social Work Month.
The campaign aligns with the national Partnership for Patients, a groundbreaking initiative launched earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve care and reduce costs, in part by reducing all causes of harm in health care.