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Perspectives on Safety > Interview
The Role of the Media in Patient Safety, October 2009
Charles Ornstein is a senior reporter at ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization in New York. Formerly with the Los Angeles Times, he co-wrote a series of articles about medical errors at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, which closed in 2007; the series earned the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. He is also the president of the Association of Health Care Journalists. We asked him to speak with us about the role of the media in patient safety. This interview was conducted while he was still at the Times.
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.
Journal Article > Study
Brand CA, Tropea J, Ibrahim JE, et al. Med J Aust. 2008;189:35-40.
Australian hospitals are using a wide variety of measurement tools to evaluate patient safety, including both process measurement and quantitative measurement methods.
Journal Article > Commentary
Coiera E, Braithwaite J. Qual Saf Health Care 2009;18:99-103.
Efforts to improve patient safety have taken many forms, including accreditation, information technology, legislation, litigation, safety training, and systems change. Pay for performance (P4P) initiatives have also captured national attention as a mechanism to tie financial incentives to delivering high quality and safe care. This commentary expands on all of the drivers for change in the context of market forces, drawing on analogies from other industries. The authors discuss the design of a patient safety "market," measuring and putting a price on safety and establishing a safety baseline with targets. While pointing out the challenges and barriers involved, the authors describe how market forces can be an efficient and powerful driver of change in health care delivery.
Leape LL. Perspect Health Reform. New York, NY: The Commonwealth Fund; March 17, 2010.
Of three approaches to enhancing patient safety—regulation/accreditation, financial incentives, and public reporting—this perspective, written by the father of the modern patient safety movement, details how public reporting holds the most potential to stimulate improvement.