Welcome to the June 2021 edition of the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS)’s monthly newsletter!

Patient Safety Legislation Introduced in Congress

Bipartisan patient safety legislation has been re-introduced in both chambers of Congress. H.R. 3353/S.1784, the Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act, would help make the contact lens prescription verification process simpler and safer for millions of Americans.

Known as the “robocall bill,” the legislation was introduced for the 117th Congress by Reps. Bobby Rush (D-IL), Lisa Blunt Rochester, (D-DE), Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), David McKinley (R-WV) in the House and by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and John Boozman, O.D. (R-AR) in the Senate. The legislation had more than 70 cosponsors in the prior Congress, and has already picked up support in both chambers, including Sens. John Tester (D-MT) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) just this week.

APS thanks the patient safety champions who re-introduced the legislation, and encourages our advocates to learn more about the bill as part of our Leaderboard.

Optometry’s Meeting

Optometry's Meeting, including the 124th Annual AOA Congress, is in Denver, Colorado later this month, and APS is excited to attend. We’ll be on the Exhibit Hall floor sharing our message of advocating for patient safety and the doctor-patient relationship during optometry's premier professional event.

We look forward to meeting the patient safety advocates who support APS in-person, and we’re excited to announce our inaugural Advocacy Champion Award at Optometry’s Meeting. Follow along on social media using the hashtag #OM2021 starting Thursday, June 24th on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Firework Eye Safety Month

June is Firework Eye Safety Month. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports thousands of firework-caused injuries treated in emergency rooms across America each year. A 2019 report found that children 4 years or younger, and teens between 15 and 19 years of age, averaged the two highest rates of injury, and injuries to the eyes accounted for an estimated 15% of injuries, including contusions, lacerations, and foreign bodies in the eye. That’s more than an estimated 1,100 eye injuries treated at emergency rooms in 2019.

Prevent Blindness has more statistics and information on how to prevent injuries, including eye injuries, on their Fireworks Safety page, and find additional discussion from the AOA on how the upcoming Independence Day holiday can prompt conversations with patients.

Thank you as always for being a patient safety advocate. We hope to see you in Denver!