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Health care leaders from around the world are expected to attend the 13th annual National Forum on Quality Improvement of Health Care, scheduled for Dec. 9-12 in Orlando, FL. Sponsored by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the forum will feature more than 100 sessions, special meetings, and workshops.
Plenary speakers for the event include the IHI president and CEO, Donald Berwick, MD, and Mark Smith, MD, MBA, president and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation. At a special plenary session, attendees can watch the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Wit," which explores the harshness of modern medicine and the importance of kindness in the face of terminal illness.
Another special feature is the Seventh Inter-national Scientific Symposium on Improving the Quality of Health Care. This event will present peer-reviewed papers followed by questions and debate from the audience. Other Forum topics include: patient safety, patient satisfaction, technology, self-care, behavioral health, chronic care, and leadership.
Student discounts and CME credits are available. For registration information, contact IHI at (888) 320-6937 or visit www.ihi.org.
More than 500 hospitals in six regions around the country have started work on a groundbreaking patient safety survey developed by The Business Roundtable’s Leapfrog Group, in collaboration with the Medstat Group, a health information company based in Ann Arbor, MI. Hospitals in Atlanta, California, east Tennessee, Minnesota, Seattle/Tacoma/Everett, WA, and St. Louis are working on the voluntary, web-based survey.
Leapfrog says it is probably the first national effort to collect information from hospitals about their patient safety practices in three specific areas that are proven to save lives and prevent medical errors: computer physician order entry, intensive care unit physician staffing, and evidence-based hospital referral. Throughout the coming months, Leapfrog will be asking hospitals in additional regions to complete the 21-page survey.
"This survey represents the first-ever opportunity for hospitals to report specific patient safety practices to their communities," says Susan Delbanco, executive director of the Leapfrog Group.
Survey responses will be made available to Leapfrog Group members, their employees, as well as the general public later this fall. Leapfrog members will use the responses to recognize and reward providers that meet the standards, as well as educate and inform enrollees about patient safety and the importance of comparing provider performance. Medstat developed the survey on behalf of the Leapfrog Group, for which it also provides other data collection, analysis, strategic planning, and support services.
Earlier research conducted for the Leapfrog Group by John Birkmeyer, et al, of Dartmouth Medical School, confirms that the three safety standards are critical to patient safety. "By following these standards, we could save as many as 58,300 lives and prevent as many as 522,000 serious medication errors each year," says Delbanco. (For more information about the Leapfrog Group, see Healthcare Benchmarks, April 2001, p. 44.)
From the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations’ monthly newsletter:
The board of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has approved new staffing effectiveness standards for the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals that will be implemented in July 2002.
Incorporation of the new standards into the survey process is currently being pilot tested at more than 40 hospitals in the United States and one military hospital overseas. JCAHO will refine the survey process for inclusion of these standards based on the pilot test results that will be available in September.
To allow hospitals time to gain knowledge and experience with the new approach, a recommendation to "cap" the standards at a "3" until January 2003 will be considered by the Accreditation Committee this fall.
The new standards require hospitals to collect and analyze data on patient clinical and human resource screening indicators that are known to be sensitive to staffing effectiveness. The approach calls for hospitals to look at these indicators together, identify variations or trends that need in-depth analysis, and draw conclusions about staffing effectiveness based on this analysis.
By looking at these indicators together, hospitals will be better able to develop appropriate staffing plans. The new approach does not mandate staffing ratios, but instead ensures that hospitals are using objective, evidence-based methods to make sound decisions about staffing.
Under the new model, JCAHO will expect hospitals to draw upon both human resources and clinical outcome indicators, at least two from a list identified by JCAHO and at least two selected and defined by the hospital, based on its unique characteristics and patients served.
During the on-site survey, surveyors will review the hospital’s staffing plan, its actual staffing vs. the plan, its rationale for screening indicator selection, the data collected, the results of the organization’s analyses of the data, and actions taken on the basis of these analyses.
Draft standards were approved by the Standards and Survey Procedures Committee, and reviewed by the Hospital Professional and Technical Advisory Committee and by the American Hospital Association/ JCAHO Special Advisory Group.