One of the most important ways to engage in the United for Patient Safety campaign and Patient Safety Awareness week is to engage in discussion with other health care professionals about issues concerning patient safety. Through our discussion forum, you can join the conversation, share your own experiences and expertise, and learn about tips and resources from others. Your voice matters in helping to keep patients safe and free from harm. Join in the conversation, but you must accept and abide to the discussion forum rules.
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Nationally, there is a critical shortage of mental health practitioners, especially for children. Families come to the ED because they don’t know where else to go, or they’ve been put on a waiting list and just can’t wait. But the wait doesn’t end in the ED, because staff struggle to place patients in appropriate settings. Children with traumatic brain injuries, significant co-morbid medical illnesses, developmental delays, or autism can often board in the ED for days because the psychiatric hospitals cannot accept them due to these exclusionary criteria.
This is a very challenging situation for nurses, physicians, social workers, and technicians who have little training in treating mental health issues. Additionally, boarding children in the ED for days does not provide them with the most appropriate psychiatric care.
Read the rest of this blog post to learn what Children's Healthcare of Atlanta has done to improve services for their patients.
Modern Healthcare recently interviewed health professionals about their own experiences with adverse medical events and patient safety lapses. Read more at http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180324/NEWS/303249989
From the AHRQ Blog:
"Since 2015, AHRQ has funded over $26 million in grants and contracts to improve patient safety in ambulatory and long-term care settings. This work has paid off with several new ambulatory care patient safety tools and resources that AHRQ has published in recent months."
Read the full blog post with links to resources.
This post from the Indiana Patient Safety Center discusses the important issues the team focused on during Patient Safety Awareness Week 2018. Read more.
In the health care industry’s drive to improve patient safety, leaders may not be paying enough attention to the safety of their workforce, according to David Michaels, PhD, MPH, former undersecretary for Occupational Safety and Health. Read his commentary.
New training for teams of physicians and clinicians who deliver healthcare services can lead to a significant reduction in patient mortality, according to new research from Rice University. Read the full article in Fierce Healthcare.
Nurses represent the largest segment of the health care workforce and, as such, they have a crucial and expansive role in advancing patient safety. Read this post in Minority Nurse with comments from Patricia McGaffigan, RN, MS, CPPS.
By Jeffrey Brady, MD, MPH, and Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS
This week marks the start of Patient Safety Awareness Week, during which we call attention to the importance of patient safety and the myriad ways that health professionals, patients, and families can work together to ensure that every health care encounter is a safe one.
Our organizations — AHRQ, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and the National Patient Safety Foundation (which merged with IHI last year)—together have decades of experience in patient safety that we’ve gained from working with teams throughout health care. We’ve learned a great number of lessons over the years, perhaps most important that everyone has an essential role to play to improve patient safety and protect patients.
We’d like to talk for a moment about the role of patients and their families. As a result of our ongoing patient safety research, we’ve discovered that care is safer when patients and families are actively involved at all levels of the health system. At the most fundamental level, this means participating as an engaged member of their own health care team by asking questions and speaking up about concerns and values.
We realize this role isn’t always a natural one for patients, and we understand why. Barriers can discourage patients from speaking up. These obstacles range from cultural factors (including wrong assumptions or misperceptions about patients’ priorities) to time pressures in busy medical offices and hospitals that pose challenges to inviting questions. But speaking up is so important, and dedicated and determined teams of patients and health care professionals are finding innovative ways to make sure that it happens.
When patients speak up, what should they say? The complexity of modern health care can prompt a wide array of topics to be addressed, but some of the most important communications with patients fall into three broad categories. We know that successful organizations that are serious about shared decision-making and focused on safety encourage patients to:
- Ask questions to make sure they understand their diagnosis and treatment options and plans.
- Speak up about the risks and problems they see or may encounter.
- Express their values.
When patients speak up — and when health care professionals engage and empower them to do so, and then understand and act on what we hear— we strengthen the health care team. Everyone has a role. This includes health systems, enacting policies and establishing expectations and a culture with safety as a priority. This includes clinicians, practicing with respect, both to patients and to each other. And it includes patients and their loved ones, positioned at the center of this team as active participants. Each member of this team has an important contribution, aligned with a common goal—a safe health care encounter.
Over the coming week, we’ll be calling attention to patient safety through a wide variety of outreach. We urge you to participate in Patient Safety Awareness Week as much as possible—and to continue the valuable work that you do to keep patients at the center of care. Dr. Brady is director of AHRQ's Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety and an assistant surgeon general in the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Gandhi is chief clinical & safety officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Dr. Brady is director of AHRQ's Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety and an assistant surgeon general in the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Gandhi is chief clinical & safety officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
This blog post originally appeared on the AHRQ blog.
In this commentary in Fierce Healthcare, patient engagement expert Tiffany Christensen says not all clinicians can master empathy. They may serve patients better by listening, acknowledging their humanity, and discussing care plans in an accessible way. Read the full commentary, https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/practices/industry-voices-3-behaviors-may-matter-more-than-empathy.
Tiffany Christensen is among the speakers lined up for the Patient Safety Awareness Week webcast, Engaging Patients and Providers: Speaking Up for Patient Safety, on March 12. Learn more.
According to this article from Kaiser Health News, "Nearly 1 in 3 Medicare patients undergo an operation in the year before they die, even though the evidence shows that many are more likely to be harmed than to benefit from it." Read the full article at https://khn.org/news/never-too-late-to-operate-surgery-near-end-of-life-is-common-costly/
"Many factors influence projections about the size of the health provider workforce, which have swung widely over past decades. How best to assess that workforce, from average wait times for appointments to number of physicians per population (both of which vary geographically and by specialty), is still an open question." Read the full commentary in the Boston Globe,
The number of hospitals is also declining because more complex care can safely and effectively be provided elsewhere, and that’s good news. Read the full commentary in the New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/25/opinion/hospitals-becoming-obsolete.html
From Pharmacy Today:
An overwhelming majority of respondents to a new survey report having positive experiences with the health care system, and for those who have experienced errors, medication was a less prominent issue than previous examinations of medical errors have indicated. And interestingly, the findings show that patients’ conception of what constitutes errors and harm differs from investigations focusing on providers’ perspectives.
Read the full article at http://www.pharmacytoday.org/article/S1042-0991(18)30152-X/fulltext
This article from the Betsy Lehman Center highlights a simple way providers can help improve patient safety by making their names visible to others. How do you let your patients and colleagues know what your name is? Read on, https://www.betsylehmancenterma.gov/news/safety-snapshot.
Comment below and share your ideas.
Family caregivers take on the lion’s share of long-term care in the US — from managing medication to coordinating care — for their own family members. When patients and families aren’t supported with training, the day-to-day tasks can become an overwhelming burden.
Patient Safety in the Home: Assessment of Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities, a recent IHI/NPSF report, explores the challenges of patient safety in the home. Extensive research identified several programs providing assistance to those assuming the challenging role of caregiver. Read more about these programs on the IHI blog, http://www.ihi.org/communities/blogs/how-to-help-family-caregivers-provide-safer-care
This article from Health IT Analytics summarizes a report from Pew Charitable Trusts that details how faulty electronic health systems may introduce adverse patient safety events. Read more, https://healthitanalytics.com/news/pew-ehr-usability-concerns-may-still-impact-patient-safety.
U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (formerly “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week”) is an annual one-week observance to raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use. Join CDC and partners to celebrate the effort to combat the spread of antibiotic resistance and improve patient safety. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/week/index.html