Empowering Public Health/Patient Safety Outreach through Community Partnerships

Partnering for Patient Empowerment through Community Awareness (PPECA) has recently received National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Greater Midwest Region funding to continue their work and develop a train-the-trainer initiative for underserved areas in Eastern Iowa. The University of Iowa Hardin Library for the Health Sciences is the leading institution and will build on the existing model to inform and educate consumers and librarians on patient safety awareness.

The library is collaborating with the University of Iowa College of Public Health and its Institute for Quality Healthcare, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC), Consumers Advancing Patient Safety, and Zipperer Project Management which specializes in patient safety information projects to launch Empowering Public Health/Patient Safety Outreach through Community Partnerships (PPECA II). The program will provide train-the-trainer sessions to instruct public health educators and community program planners on the use of the PPECA patient safety consumer awareness model as a tool for developing patient safety programming for consumers.

The train-the-trainer sessions have been designed for a multidisciplinary audience of librarians, consumers, health care educators, and public health employees. The sessions include demonstrations of suggested presentations as well as tips for developing a consumer-focused patient safety program. The instructors will use interactive learning techniques to facilitate dialogue between the participants to set the stage for developing partnerships between hospitals and other community-based organizations committed to safe and high-quality health care.

PPECA believes that patients should be a part of their own healthcare team and that they too have a role in ensuring their safety or that of their loved ones while receiving health care. These sessions help to ensure this belief.

PPECA II's Goals

  • To empower healthcare educators to partner at a community level to improve communication among key players regarding patient safety awareness and healthcare information—the consumer, the healthcare professional and librarians so that high quality and safe care is provided to patients
  • To introduce and increase educator and advocate familiarity with an existing consumer awareness program on patient safety and healthcare resources so that they are able to implement similar programs to assist patients in their understanding of the importance of information to feel empowered and accept an active role in their health care
  • To encourage consumers to participate in the education, decisionmaking, planning, implementation, and evaluation process to improve patient safety.