Narrow Results Clear All
Search results for ""
Tools/Toolkit > Fact Sheet/FAQs
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Revised December 2009. AHRQ Publication No. 10-M008.
This tip sheet provides 10 practical steps hospitals can undertake to improve patient safety, based on research funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The tips can be grouped into three areas: 1) reducing health care-acquired infections and retained surgical instruments through use of specific clinical practices; 2) improving drug safety by ensuring access to accurate drug information; and 3) improving the culture of safety through appropriate staffing and work hours for nurses and residents. These tips are based on high-quality research studies documenting the effectiveness of these interventions at reducing errors and improving safety for a broad range of patients.
Journal Article > Study
Do the AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators flag conditions that are present at the time of hospital admission?
Bahl V, Thompson MA, Kau T-Y, Hu HM, Campbell DA Jr. Med Care. 2008;46:516-522.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) were designed to reflect the quality of inpatient care by triggering cases for review using administrative data and examining potentially preventable complications. With an increasing focus on withholding payment for complications of care not present on admission (POA), efforts to make this important distinction continue. This study applied the use of PSIs with and without a POA variable and discovered that event rates were significantly lower for five PSIs using the added variable (decubitus ulcer, foreign body left in, selected infections due to medical care, and postoperative derangements and thromboembolic events). These findings suggest that use of standard PSIs will overstate the number of hospital complications in failing to take into account those clearly POA. The authors conclude that unadjusted PSIs should not be used to profile hospital performance or determine reimbursement.
Journal Article > Commentary
Pronovost PJ, Goeschel CA, Wachter RM. JAMA. 2008;299:2197-2199.
In October 2008, Medicare will put into effect a new policy that withholds payment for eight preventable complications of care, with plans already in place to expand this list in 2009. This initiative has prompted several discussions in the safety community, ranging from the business case for adopting such a policy to whether any of the targeted conditions can be accurately identified as present on admission. This commentary further explores the basis of Medicare's efforts and focuses on criteria that should be considered when withholding payment for complications of care. The authors provide a framework that requires each proposed complication to be important, measurable, and truly preventable to meet the burden of proof for inclusion. Only foreign objects retained after surgery and catheter-related blood stream infections serve as "wise and just" complications based on their assessment. While the authors acknowledge the opportunity for Medicare to align payment incentives and stimulate improvements in quality and reduce costs, they caution against rapid adoption and a failure to carefully evaluate the benefits and risks of the initiative.