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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

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

Remle Crowe, PhD, NREMT, is the Director of Clinical and Operational Research at ESO. In her professional role, she provides strategic direction for the research mission of the organization, including oversight of a warehouse research data set of de... Read More

Michael L. Millenson is the President of Health Quality Advisors LLC, author of the critically acclaimed book Demanding Medical Excellence: Doctors and Accountability in the Information Age, and an adjunct associate professor of medicine at... Read More

All Perspectives (336)

1 - 20 of 27 Results
Deborah Woodcock, MS, MBA; Robby Bergstrom |
This piece explores the role medical scribes play in health care, how to implement and evaluate a scribe program, and recommendations to reduce variations in scribe practice.
Dr. Smith is Chief Faculty Practices Officer for UCSF Health and a family medicine physician. Over the past 3–4 years, the health system has implemented a robust program using medical scribes in the outpatient setting. We spoke with her about her experience implementing this program, including the benefits and some of the potential patient safety ramifications.
Dr. Brice is Professor and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina. She also serves as the Program Director for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Fellowship and was past-president of the National Association of EMS Physicians. We spoke with her about her experience working in emergency medical systems and safety concerns particular to this field.
Dr. Halamka is the International Healthcare Innovation Professor at Harvard Medical School, Chief Information Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and an emergency physician. He is widely known as one of the most thoughtful and provocative experts on the subject of health IT. We spoke with him about the HITECH Act and the consequences—anticipated and otherwise—of the digitization of health care.
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.
Rachel J. Stern, MD, and Urmimala Sarkar, MD |
Patient engagement in safety has evolved from obscurity to maturity over the past two decades. This Annual Perspective highlights emerging approaches to engaging patients and caregivers in safety efforts, including novel technological innovations, and summarizes the existing evidence on the efficacy of such approaches.
Sumant Ranji, MD |
A considerable body of evidence demonstrates worsened clinical outcomes for patients admitted to the hospital on weekends compared to those admitted on weekdays. This Annual Perspective summarizes innovative studies published in 2017 that helped clarify the magnitude of this effect and identify possible mechanisms by which it occurs.
Dr. Bindman, an expert in health policy in underserved populations, was appointed as director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in May 2016. We spoke with him about his new role at AHRQ.
Stephen Agboola, MD, MPH, and Joseph Kvedar, MD |
This piece explores benefits and safety concerns associated with the increased adoption of telemedicine services.
Ms. Zipperer was a founding staff member of the National Patient Safety Foundation as their information projects manager and has also been Cybrarian for AHRQ Patient Safety Network since its inception. We spoke with her about the role of librarians in patient safety.
Dr. Shojania is Editor-in-Chief of BMJ Quality and Safety and Director of the Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the University of Toronto. We spoke with him about the evolution of patient safety research over the past 15 years.
Dr. Blumenthal is President of the Commonwealth Fund and served as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology from 2009-2011, during early implementation of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the accompanying Meaningful Use program. We spoke with him about the HITECH Act and lessons learned in health care since it was enacted.
Pat Croskerry, MD, PhD, is a professor in emergency medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Trained as an experimental psychologist, Dr. Croskerry went on to become an emergency medicine physician, and found himself surprised by the relatively scant amount of attention given to cognitive errors. He has gone on to become one of the world's foremost experts in safety in emergency medicine and in diagnostic errors. We spoke to him about both.
Richard J. Baron, MD |
Most patient interactions with the health care system occur in the outpatient setting. Many potential and actual safety problems occur there as well.(1) Yet patient safety literature and practice do not seem to have reached deeply into ambulatory care. This is likely due to a combination of factors: in most practices, there is no layer of administration providing a second look at routine policies and procedures; there is no accrediting agency, like The Joint Commission, to mandate safe practices (2); and those of us in office practice are so consumed with simply getting through the day that it is difficult to recognize the problems, large and small, that can lead to major safety hazards. The business case for safety, such as it is, relies almost entirely on the malpractice rate-setting process: errors that result in litigation lead to higher premiums and personal and professional misery. However, as Studdert (3) has argued, relying on the malpractice system to identify and "correct" errors is unlikely to be timely or productive.
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.
Jeffrey M. Rothschild, MD, MPH; Carol Keohane, RN, BSN |
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.