Patient Safety Awareness Week runs March 4-10

PORTLAND, Ore. – When health care organizations are transparent about adverse events, they are helping to create an environment that prioritizes patient safety. “Adverse event” is a term used to describe unintended harm (or potential harm) to a patient as a result of medical care. One way that many of Oregon's health care providers are improving patient safety is by reporting adverse events to the Oregon Patient Safety Commission.

That’s why, in honor of Patient Safety Awareness Week, the Commission, with support from The Regence Foundation, is recognizing participants in Oregon's Patient Safety Reporting Program that have exceeded new reporting standards established by the Commission in 2011.

At an awards breakfast on Friday, March 2, the following hospitals and health care organizations were recognized by the Commission as leaders in the state’s Patient Safety Reporting Program:

  • Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend and University District, Eugene (special recognition for exceptional participation in the reporting program and for engagement in programs to improve safety)
  • Rogue Valley Medical Center, Medford (large-sized hospital category)
  • Samaritan Albany General Hospital, Albany (medium-sized hospital category)
  • Providence Newberg Medical Center, Newberg (small-sized hospital category)
  • Marquis Mt. Tabor, Portland (nursing home category)
  • Oregon SurgiCenter, Springfield (ambulatory surgery center category)
  • River Road Surgery Center, Salem (ambulatory surgery center category)
  • Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center Pharmacies, Washington and Yamhill Counties (pharmacy category)

“These organizations are among the best of the best when it comes to patient safety reporting in Oregon,” said Bethany Higgins, executive director of the Oregon Patient Safety Commission. “To be clear, this doesn’t mean these organizations have more adverse events than others in Oregon. It means they are the most diligent when it comes to reporting. Every health care organization experiences adverse events. What we’re acknowledging here are organizations that respond to adverse events by learning about what happened and working to prevent the event from happening again.”

The Oregon Patient Safety Commission used part of a grant it received from the Regence Foundation in 2011 to fund the Patient Safety Awareness Week awards breakfast. The majority of the $20,000 Regence Foundation grant was used to develop a toolkit to help hospitals notify patients who were harmed by an adverse event. The toolkit, called the Oregon Adverse Event Disclosure Guide, will be unveiled later this month. 

“The Oregon Patient Safety Commission has made great strides toward improving patient safety in Oregon,” said Peggy Maguire, Regence Foundation board chair. “The Commission is an effective partner for health care organizations, and with the help of this grant, it is providing the tools, resources and support that health care organizations need to do the right thing in difficult situations.”

Lists of the hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory surgery centers, and pharmacies that met or exceeded 2011 reporting standards is available on the Commission's website,  

About The Oregon Patient Safety Commission

The Oregon Patient Safety Commission is a semi-independent state agency that is charged by the Oregon Legislature with reducing the risk of serious adverse events occurring in Oregon’s health care system and encouraging a culture of patient safety. The Commission runs the state’s adverse event reporting program, which it uses as a learning tool to improve care throughout the state. The Commission has received grant funding to coordinate three collaboratives aimed at reducing health care-associated infections in hospitals, neonatal intensive care units, and renal dialysis facilities. Additionally, the Commission has received grant funding to create a toolkit and trainings to help prevent infections in ambulatory surgery centers.

About The Regence Foundation

The Regence Foundation is the corporate foundation of Regence, the largest health insurer in the Northwest/Intermountain region and a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. A 501(c)3 grantmaking organization, the Foundation partners with organizations driving significant change in health care delivery and accessibility in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Through its Sojourns program, the Foundation supports organizations that advance access to and the quality of palliative and end-of-life care. For more information, visit or