Perspectives on Safety
Narrow Results Clear All
- Communication Improvement 30
- Culture of Safety 27
Education and Training
- Students 2
- Error Reporting and Analysis 43
- Human Factors Engineering 16
- Legal and Policy Approaches 44
- Logistical Approaches 14
- Policies and Operations 2
- Quality Improvement Strategies 62
- Research Directions 1
- Specialization of Care 3
- Teamwork 9
- Clinical Information Systems 18
- Alert fatigue 1
- Device-related Complications 3
- Diagnostic Errors 9
- Discontinuities, Gaps, and Hand-Off Problems 14
- Fatigue and Sleep Deprivation 9
- Identification Errors 2
- Delirium 1
- Medication Safety 16
- Nonsurgical Procedural Complications 6
- Psychological and Social Complications 17
- Surgical Complications 11
- Family Members and Caregivers 3
- Health Care Executives and Administrators
Health Care Providers
- Nurses 6
- Physicians 16
Non-Health Care Professionals
- Educators 16
- Media 1
- Patients 3
The Business Case for Improving Safety, May 2009
The Business Case for Improving Safety
Accreditation and Regulation, April 2009
Mark R. Chassin, MD, MPP, MPH, is president of The Joint Commission, the preeminent standard setting and accrediting organization in health care in the United States and, increasingly, the world. Over the course of his notable career, Dr. Chassin, an emergency medicine physician, has held a variety of key positions, including New York State Health Commissioner and chair of the department of health policy at Mt. Sinai. He has published several seminal papers and was a member of the team that authored the IOM report, "To Err Is Human." We asked him to speak with us about his role at The Joint Commission, as well as future directions for the organization.
Health Literacy and Safety, February-March 2009
Dean Schillinger, MD, is a Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco, Director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, and Chief of the California Diabetes Prevention and Control Program. His role as a practicing clinician at a safety net hospital (San Francisco General Hospital) has put him in a unique position to pursue influential and relevant research related to health literacy and improving care for vulnerable populations.
with commentary by Michael S. Wolf, PhD, MPH; Stacy Cooper Bailey, MPH, Health Literacy and Safety, February-March 2009
Clear health communication is increasingly recognized as essential for promoting patient safety. Yet according to a recent Joint Commission report, What Did the Doctor Say? Improving Health Literacy to Protect Patient Safety, communication problems among health care providers, patients, and families are common and a leading root cause of adverse outcomes. Addressing health literacy—the capacity of individuals to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions—has become a primary objective for many health systems in order to protect patients from harm.
Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections: Lessons for Patient Safety, November 2008
Sanjay Saint, MD, MPH, is Professor of Medicine at the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Saint's research has focused on reducing health care–associated infections, with a particular focus on preventing catheter-related urinary tract infections (UTIs). We asked him to speak with us about how research on UTI prevention provides broader lessons for patient safety.
with commentary by Lindsay E. Nicolle, MD , Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections: Lessons for Patient Safety, November 2008
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common hospital-acquired infection, accounting for 40% of all hospital-acquired infections. More than 80% of these infections are attributable to use of an indwelling urethral catheter.(1) Catheter-acquired urinary infections (cUTIs) have received significantly less attention than other health care–acquired infections, such as surgical site infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and bacteremia.
with commentary by James M. Naessens, ScD, Not Paying for Errors: A Policy Perspective, October 2008
Interest is growing in the use of existing data sources to identify opportunities to improve the delivery and safety of medical care, to measure and compare quality and patient safety, and even to change provider incentives through pay for performance initiatives.
Not Paying for Errors: A Policy Perspective, October 2008
At the University of California, San Francisco, Robert M. Wachter, MD, is Professor and Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine; Associate Chairman of the Department of Medicine; Lynne and Marc Benioff Endowed Chair in Hospital Medicine; and Chief of the Medical Service at UCSF Medical Center. He is also Editor of AHRQ WebM&M and AHRQ Patient Safety Network.
Bar Coding for Medication Safety, September 2008
Eric G. Poon, MD, MPH, is Director of Clinical Informatics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Poon’s research has focused on using health information technology to improve patient safety. He oversees the development and implementation of clinical applications including computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and barcode-assisted electronic medication administration record, and was lead author on the first rigorous study demonstrating the impact of a bar coding system in a hospital pharmacy. We asked him to speak with us about how such technology can augment medication safety.
with commentary by Jeffrey M. Rothschild, MD, MPH; Carol Keohane, RN, BSN, Bar Coding for Medication Safety, September 2008
Medication safety in hospitals depends on the successful execution of a complex system of scores of individual tasks that can be categorized into five stages: ordering or prescribing, preparing, dispensing, transcribing, and monitoring the patient's response. Many of these tasks lend themselves to technologic tools. Over the past 20 years, technology has played an increasingly larger role toward achieving the five rights of medication safety: getting the right dose of the right drug to the right patient using the right route and at the right time. While several of these technologies may incur significant upfront and maintenance costs, the net impact over time may be reduced overall institutional costs and improvements in work efficiency. Examples of technologic tools commonly seen in many hospitals today include computerized provider order entry (CPOE) with decision support and automatic dispensing carts, also known as medication dispensing robots. While outside the scope of this Perspective, it is important to emphasize that many nontechnologic interventions, such as clinical pharmacists on physician rounds, can be equally effective in improving medication safety.
with commentary by Gary A. Noskin, MD, MRSA and Patient Safety, April 2008
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has received a great deal of media attention over the past few months following the release of a study indicating that, on an annual basis, approximately 94,000 patients develop serious MRSA infections resulting in 18,650 deaths. Email to a colleague Digg This Printable View Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Perspective by Gary A. Noskin, MD Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has received a great deal of media attention over the past few months following the release of a study indicating that, on an annual basis, approximately 94,000 patients develop serious MRSA infections resulting in 18,650 deaths.(
MRSA and Patient Safety, April 2008
The voices of patients are often missing from discussions of the impact of medical errors and adverse events. Ms. Constance Lehfeldt is a former nurse who developed a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, which ultimately led to a devastating series of complications. Connie bravely describes her story, with understated eloquence, in the video interview. The voices of patients are often missing from discussions of the impact of medical errors and adverse events. Ms. Constance Lehfeldt is a former nurse who developed a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, which ultimately led to a devastating series of complications.
Improving Safety in Large Systems, January 2008
Jennifer Daley, MD, is the Chief Medical Officer of Partners Community Healthcare Inc., the organization for the 6000 physicians employed/affiliated with Partners HealthCare System (which includes Massachusetts General and Brigham & Women's Hospitals). From 2002 to 2007, she was the Chief Medical Officer for Tenet Healthcare, one of the nation's largest hospital systems, where she was responsible for the development and implementation of Tenet's Commitment to Quality (C2Q). Her academic background (including her previous directorship of the Center for Health Systems Design and Evaluation in the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners HealthCare) and her years of leadership at a huge multistate private sector system provide her with a unique perch from which to view patient safety implementation in complex systems.
with commentary by Loran Hauck, MD, and Jan Jacob, MBA, RN, Improving Safety in Large Systems, January 2008
Hospitals and health systems across the United States are struggling to put strategies and structures in place to improve patient safety at their institutions. This article will share the safety and quality journey of Adventist Heath System (AHS), the largest Protestant not-for-profit health care system in the United States.
Improving Transitions in Care, December 2007
Eric A. Coleman, MD, MPH, is Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado. Trained in both geriatrics and health services research, Dr. Coleman has emerged as one of the world's leading authorities on issues surrounding transitions of care, particularly between acute and postacute settings. His care model, the Care Transitions Intervention, is being adopted by leading health care organizations around the country. The Intervention has been associated with significant decreases in rehospitalization rates.
with commentary by Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc, Improving Transitions in Care, December 2007
Hospital discharge is often viewed as the end of an acute medical event. Goodbyes are said as patients pack their belongings and return home. Physicians scratch the patient's name off their rounding list, and hospital staff remove the patient from the census as they clean out the room...
Just Culture, October 2007
An engineer and an attorney by training, David Marx, JD, is president of Outcome Engineering, a risk management firm. After a career focused on safety assessment and improvement in aviation, he has spent the last decade focusing on the interface between systems engineering, human factors, and the law. In 2001, he wrote a seminal paper describing the concept of just culture, which became a focal point for efforts to reconcile notions of "no blame" and "accountability." He has gone on to form the "Just Culture Community" to address these issues at health care institutions around the country.
with commentary by Alison H. Page, MS, MHA, Just Culture, October 2007
We've all been there...something goes wrong, a patient is harmed, and we, as medical directors, managers, and administrators, are forced to judge the behavioral choices of another human being. Most of the time, we conduct this complex leadership function guided by little more than vague policies, personal beliefs, and intuition. Frequently, we are frustrated by the fact that many other providers have made the same mistake or behavioral choice, with no adverse outcome to the patient, and the behavior was overlooked. Quite understandably, the staff is frustrated by what appears to be inconsistent, irrational decision-making by leadership. The "just culture" concept teaches us to shift our attention from retrospective judgment of others, focused on the severity of the outcome, to real-time evaluation of behavioral choices in a rational and organized manner.
The Board's Role in Patient Safety, July-August 2007
James L. Reinertsen, MD, heads the Reinertsen Group, a prominent health care consulting firm based in Wyoming. Prior to that, he was CEO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he developed a reputation for his unwavering focus on safety and quality. He is also a senior faculty member at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), where he has taken a role in teaching leadership skills and promoting the engagement of health care boards and "C-suites" in patient safety efforts. He was a prime driver behind the IHI's decision to include the "Boards on Board" initiative as part of its recent 5 Million Lives Campaign. We asked him to speak with us about the role of boards in improving patient safety.
with commentary by John L. Haughom, MD, The Board's Role in Patient Safety, July-August 2007
In recent years, the case for improving the quality and safety of care has become irrefutable. Over the next few years, failure to act will likely have far-reaching consequences for hospitals and health systems including loss of market share, increased liability, a demoralized workforce, and a sharp rise in fear and distrust among patients who lack confidence in the ability of their provider to deliver safe care...