This book aims to address many patient safety healthcare topics that should be considered when wanting to improve a healthcare organization?s culture of patient safety. Some topics covered in this book include national organizations promoting a culture of patient safety, standards and priorities for consideration, high risk clinical areas, the role of employees in preventing medical errors, financial incentives to keep patient safety a priority, the education and competency of staff, simulation labs, clinical governance, receiving feedback, bedside reporting, patient tracers, SWOT analysis and FMEAs.
Delivering safe, quality patient care in any type of healthcare organization must be the primary focus of all employees working within the system they elect to be part of. Since the release of the 1998 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report titled To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, the approach toward patient safety began changing into what we see within healthcare today. In the report, it notes as many as 98,000 deaths are attributable to preventable medical errors. This alarming number was more than the number of deaths expected from such things as motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer and AIDS, according to the IOM website, 2011. The IOM report opened the eyes of many healthcare practitioners and organizational leaders to make changes within their risk management programs which traditionally addressed patient safety concerns after an adverse event occurred. It became apparent that healthcare organizations could no longer take a reactive approach to adverse patient events, but rather a proactive approach toward patient safety was now needed.
Over the years since the report was released, healthcare organizations have implemented practices to keep patient safety at the forefront and part of daily practice. Healthcare leaders know firsthand that a proactive approach toward patient safety which incorporates continual assessment of the patient care environment is vital for finding potentially harmful practices. Today, there are still many organizations and regulatory agencies placing a great deal of emphasis on continuing to create a culture where patient safety is at the forefront of every process, action or policy which relates to the patient. Efforts by such organizations as The Joint Commission, The National Patient Safety Foundation, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the IOM will help define practices that are still needed to improve patient outcomes.