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Perspectives

Our Perspectives on Safety section features expert viewpoints on current themes in patient safety, including interviews and written essays published monthly. Annual Perspectives highlight vital and emerging patient safety topics.

Latest Perspectives

Freya Spielberg MD, MPH, is the Founder and CEO of Urgent Wellness LLC, a social enterprise dedicated to improving the health of Individuals living in low-income housing in Washington, DC. Previously, as an Associate Professor at George Washington... Read More

Jack Westfall, MD MPH, is a retired professor from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Former Director of the Robert Graham Center. We spoke with him about the role of primary care in the health and well-being of individuals, the... Read More

This piece focuses on the emergence and use of digital applications (apps), app-based products and devices for healthcare, and the implications for patient safety.

Francoise A. Marvel, MD, is an assistant professor of medicine within the Division of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, codirector of the Johns Hopkins Digital Health Innovation Lab, and the chief executive officer (CEO) and cofounder of Corrie... Read More

The focus on patient safety in the ambulatory setting was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and appropriately shifting priorities to responding to the pandemic. This piece explores some of the core themes of patient safety in the ambulatory setting,... Read More

All Perspectives (339)

1 - 10 of 10 Results
Rachel J. Stern, MD, and Urmimala Sarkar, MD |
Patient engagement is widely acknowledged as a cornerstone of patient safety. Research in 2018 demonstrates that patient engagement, when done correctly, can help health care systems identify safety hazards, regain trust after they occur, and codesign sustainable solutions.
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.
Michael S. Wolf, PhD, MPH; Stacy Cooper Bailey, MPH |
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rosemary Gibson, MSc |
Patients have three roles in improving patient safety: helping to ensure their own safety, working with health care organizations to improve safety at the organization and unit level, and advocating as citizens for public reporting and accountability of hospital and health system performance. The following case illustrates how patients can help ensure their own safety.