BOSTON, Feb. 12, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Patient and family engagement in health care is the focus as the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) leads Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 8-14, 2015. This year's theme, United in Safety, underscores the fact that everyone has a role to play in ensuring safe care, and that with partnerships comes progress.

This year's campaign is being generously supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The Moore Foundation's Patient Care Program is focused on improving the experience and outcomes in patient care, and a key area of its work includes partnering with patients and their families to improve how care is delivered. One of the foundation's newer efforts, "Roadmap for Patient + Family Engagement in Healthcare," is among the resources that will be highlighted during the campaign. The roadmap was designed to increase patient and family engagement by providing specific strategies to be applied across the continuum of care.

"Currently, meaningful patient and family engagement is the exception, not the rule, in our health system and we want to see this changed," said Dominick Frosch, PhD, a Fellow in the Moore Foundation's Patient Care Program who helped design the roadmap. "Patient Safety Awareness Week serves as an important reminder and calling card to take action to both increase and improve efforts to partner with patients and their families to receive safer and more compassionate care in all health settings."

According to a 2014 report from the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute, research and practice have shown that patient and family engagement can contribute to safer health care through improved outcomes, better patient experience of care, and better working experience for health professionals. In focusing on this topic, NPSF seeks to continue the national conversation about barriers to engagement, while sharing resources and materials designed to improve and enhance engagement of patients, families, and the general public.

"NPSF is extremely grateful to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for its support of this year's Patient Safety Awareness Week campaign," said Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, president and CEO of NPSF. "This is what our theme, United in Safety, is all about—recognizing where goals align and creating partnerships that help advance the work necessary to truly make health care safer for patients and the workforce."

On Thursday, March 12, from 1:00pm to 2:00pm Eastern Time, NPSF will host a webcast with guest speakers DeeJo Miller and Sheryl Chadwick, Family Centered Care Coordinators at Children's Mercy Hospitals & Clinics. The program is free of charge, but registration is required.

NPSF has also teamed up with other expert organizations in the field to develop and disseminate educational materials for clinicians, health systems, and patients and consumers specifically related to better understanding how patients and providers can enhance communication, which can increase engagement.  The Foundation gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the following organizations that are sharing resources for this year's campaign: the College of American Pathologists, the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care, the Lown Institute, Maine Patient Safety Academy at the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Maine, and the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.

Materials will be available on the NPSF website in advance of the week. NPSF also offers a range of promotional materials for the campaign, including posters, tent cards, and buttons, that health professionals may acquire to augment activities in their organizations. Details about all Patient Safety Awareness Week activities are available on the NPSF website at

About National Patient Safety Foundation

The National Patient Safety Foundation's vision is to create a world where patients and those who care for them are free from harm. A central voice for patient safety since 1997, NPSF partners with patients and families, the health care community, and key stakeholders to advance patient safety and health care workforce safety and disseminate strategies to prevent harm. NPSF is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For more information about the Foundation's activities, visit or follow @theNPSF on twitter.

About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation believes in bold ideas that create enduring impact in the areas of science, environmental conservation and patient care. Intel co-founder Gordon and his wife Betty established the foundation to create positive change around the world and at home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit or follow @MooreFound.

Patricia McTiernan