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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)

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Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) are organizations dedicated to improving patient safety and healthcare quality that serve to collect and analyze data voluntarily reported by healthcare providers to promote learning. Federal confidentiality and privilege protections apply to certain information (defined as “patient safety work product”) developed when a healthcare provider works with a federally listed PSO under the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 and its implementing regulation. AHRQ is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the PSO listing process. Based on their presentations at an AHRQ annual meeting, we spoke with representatives from two PSOs, Poonam Sharma, MD, MPH, the Senior Clinical Data Analyst at Atrium Health, and Rhonda Dickman, MSN, RN, CPHQ, the Director of the Tennessee Hospital Association PSO about how the unique circumstances surrounding care during the COVID-19 pandemic impacted patient safety risks in both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.

This piece discusses an expanded view of maternal and infant safety that includes the concept of whole-person care, which addresses the structural and social determinants of maternal health.

Alison Stuebe, MD, MSc, is a professor and Division Director for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill and the co-director of the Collaborative for Maternal and Infant Health. Kristin Tully, PhD, is a research assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UNC Chapel Hill and a member of the Collaborative for Maternal and Infant Health. We spoke with them about their work in maternal and infant care and what they are discovering about equitable care and its impact on patient safety.

Dr. Starke is Professor of Pediatrics–Infectious Disease at Baylor College of Medicine and previously served as Infection Control Officer at Texas Children's Hospital. We spoke with him about "presenteeism" (coming to work while ill) in health care and its impact on provider and patient safety.
Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Health Policy at Johns Hopkins University and Director of the Johns Hopkins Quality and Safety Research Group. He may be best known for having led the Michigan Keystone project, which used checklists and other interventions to markedly reduce catheter-associated bloodstream infections in ICUs throughout the state. For this work and more, he received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and Time Magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. We asked him to speak with us about checklists and other thoughts about the science of improving patient safety.
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.
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.
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. 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.(
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.
Atul Gawande, MD, MA, MPH, Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, is an accomplished surgeon and writer and is the recipient of a 2006 MacArthur Fellowship. He is an active clinician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Gawande has written two acclaimed and best-selling books: Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science and Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance. A staff writer for the New Yorker, he also recently completed a stint as a guest columnist for the New York Times. Dr. Gawande is leading the World Health Organization's Second Global Patient Safety Challenge: "Safe Surgery Saves Lives." We asked him to speak with us about professionalism, training, patient safety, and the writing process.