AHA Launches Patient Safety Initiative to Share Data, Success
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is launching a national initiative to intended to provide a platform and resources for hospitals to track their patient safety efforts and scale them nationally.
The Patient Safety Initiative will focus on fostering a culture of safety from the boardroom to the bedside, identifying and addressing inequities in safety, and enhancing workforce safety. (More information on the Patient Safety Initiative is available at: https://www.aha.org/aha-patien....)
Two Issues Impede Progress
Many hospitals are already engaged in activities to advance patient safety, says Nancy Foster, AHA vice president for quality and safety policy. Those activities differ from area to area across the country. Some are targeted at the same issues that hospitals across the country are concerned about, such as reducing infections or preventing falls, and some are aimed at safety issues unique to their organization. But Foster says AHA members have cited two things that are impeding their progress on patient safety.
“One was what they perceived as a lack of current data or timely data that could help drive their efforts forward and help inform whether they were on track making progress or not. For those that rely on data the federal government collects and publishes, by the time it gets up on Care Compare, it is a bit out of date,” Foster says. “The second thing that people said was that they really knew there was more to safety than just attacking individual kinds of safety events. It’s always helpful to reduce those, but there has to be the right infrastructure in place.”
Complement Existing Efforts
The initiative is designed to complement the efforts that are underway by working with partner organizations to bring more contemporaneous data to the table that can help AHA members understand where hospitals are succeeding, Foster says. It also will provide support around the three foundational issues that underlie all the safety efforts that are underway. Hundreds of hospitals have signed up for the initiative, she notes.
In developing the Patient Safety Initiative, AHA noted that hospitals and health systems value the ability to learn from one another, says Akin Demehin, AHA’s senior director of quality and patient safety.
“We wanted to bring the collective wisdom and experience of the field to bear on these important issues, so one of our goals is to really provide a forum to hospitals and health systems for that collaboration,” Demehin says. “We want to be able to learn from one another to have a repository of practices that may be helpful in making progress on each of these areas. There is plenty that we know our members have to teach one another, and that sort of sharing can really energize our efforts on safety going forward.”
- Nancy Foster, Vice President for Quality and Safety Policy, American Hospital Association, Chicago. Phone: (312) 422-3000.
- Akin Demehin, Senior Director of Quality and Patient Safety, American Hospital Association, Chicago.
The American Hospital Association is launching a national initiative intended to provide a platform and resources for hospitals to track their patient safety efforts and scale them nationally.
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