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Perspectives on Safety > Perspective
with commentary by Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH, The Transformation of Patient Safety at the VA, September 2006
Five years after the landmark Crossing the Quality Chasm report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the quality and safety of health care in the United States remains far from ideal.(1) It is easy to feel pessimistic. Can health care organizations really...
Perspectives on Safety > Perspective
with commentary by Barry M. Manuel, MD; Jack L. McCarthy; William Berry, MD, MPH; Kathy Dwyer, Risk Management and Patient Safety, December 2010
In 1990, a Harvard-based research team reported the incidence of medical errors in the state of New York, based on the hospital discharge analysis of 30,121 cases.
Perspectives on Safety > Interview
Surgical Errors, September 2007
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.
Hallinan JT. Post-Gazette.com. June 21, 2005.
This article summarizes the history of patient safety improvement in anesthesia and its impact on malpractice claims and costs within that specialty.
Tools/Toolkit > Multi-use Website
National SCIP Partnership, Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, 14000 Quail Springs Parkway, Suite 400, Oklahoma City, OK, 73134.
This initiative aims to build a national community of health care facilities that will work to collectively reduce surgical complications by 25% by the year 2010.
Baltimore, MD: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Public Affairs; May 18, 2006.
This fact sheet provides information regarding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' initiative to better understand and minimize never events.
Journal Article > Review
Hwang RW, Herndon JH. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2007;457:21-34.
The authors discuss the financial incentives of improving patient outcomes as the business case for patient safety.
Journal Article > Study
Beyond our walls: impact of patient and provider coordination across the continuum on outcomes for surgical patients.
Weinberg DB, Gittell JH, Lusenhop RW, Kautz CM, Wright J. Health Serv Res. 2007;42:7-24.
The investigators surveyed patients regarding the coordination of their postdischarge care and identified problems with coordination across settings, within settings, and between patients and providers.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL: The Joint Commission; March 2007.
This report reveals that the overall quality of care delivered by US hospitals improved steadily between 2003 and 2005, as measured by adherence to evidence-based treatments for myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia. Adherence to the Joint Commission's National Patient Safety Goals, which include measures to prevent wrong-site surgery and promote medication reconciliation, was also measured. Although results on these measures showed a more mixed picture, the report cautions that changes in measurement during the study period limit interpretability of the results.
Kowalczyk L. Boston Globe. March 29, 2007:4B.
This article reports on an award recognizing Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital for its approach to improving patient safety in response to the death of an infant in 2000.
Abelson R. New York Times. May 17, 2007;Business section:1.
This article reports on a Pennsylvania hospital system that offers a flat fee for bypass surgery and a guarantee for follow-up care should complications arise.
Pear R. New York Times. August 19, 2007.
This article reports on a new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule mandating that Medicare will no longer pay for treating certain preventable errors starting in 2008, including some hospital-acquired infections, decubitus ulcers, and retained foreign bodies. The policy is generating considerable discussion in patient safety circles, with some expressing concerns regarding the economic impact on hospitals and the increased efforts it is likely to create for hospitals to document certain patient problems present at the time of admission.
Journal Article > Study
Publicly available hospital comparison web sites: determination of useful, valid, and appropriate information for comparing surgical quality.
Leonardi MJ, McGory ML, Ko CY. Arch Surg. 2007;142:863-869.
The growing focus on health care quality has led to the development of several Web sites that make hospital quality information publicly available to consumers. This study evaluated six such Web sites (the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services' Hospital Compare, the Joint Commission's Quality Check, the Leapfrog Group, and three commercial sites) for ease of use, data accuracy, and consistency of hospital rankings for several surgical quality measures. In general, the governmental and non-profit Web sites were rated as easier to use and had more complete information. However, the authors found significant variation in the risk adjustment methods used and the types of outcomes reported on each Web site, leading to poor reproducibility of rankings for specific surgical procedures.
Kowalczyk L. Boston Globe. September 17, 2007;Metro section:1A.
This article reports on how numerous Massachusetts hospitals have implemented policies to waive charges for the set of serious errors categorized as never events.
Lerner M. Star Tribune. September 18, 2007;News section:5B.
This article reports on Minnesota's adoption of a policy for hospitals to not charge patients or insurers for never events or consequent treatment.
O'Reilly KB. American Medical News. May 12, 2008.
This article reports that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed expanding the list of hospital-acquired conditions that it will no longer cover.
Smith S. Boston Globe. July 30, 2008;Metro section:1A.
This article reports on the incidence of wrong site surgeries in Massachusetts and describes complex factors that may contribute to such errors occurring in spinal surgery.
More states shred bills for awful medical errors: patients in 23 states will no longer pay for certain mistakes, hospitals say.
Aleccia J. MSNBC News. August 12, 2008.
This article reports on the implementation and expansion of several states' non-payment policies for medical mistakes in light of similar policies set by Medicare and private insurance companies.
Journal Article > Study
Validity of selected AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators based on VA National Surgical Quality Improvement program data.
Romano PS, Mull HJ, Rivard PE, et al. Health Serv Res. 2009;44:182-204.
The AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) were originally developed as a means of screening administrative data to identify potential patient safety problems. However, they are increasingly being used for quality measurement and hospital comparison purposes. This study sought to evaluate the accuracy of surgical PSIs for identification of true safety issues, by comparing PSI-detected events to clinical data. The PSIs tested had only moderate sensitivity and specificity for detecting clinical adverse events, lending support to prior research, which concluded that PSIs should be used only for screening purposes. An AHRQ WebM&M commentary discusses the limitations of using PSIs for public reporting and hospital comparison purposes.
Carbonara P. Fast Company. October 2008.
This magazine article describes how one health system is using an evidence-based, pay-for-performance program to reduce errors and improve outcomes in coronary-artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.