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Initiative Hopes to Improve Patient Safety in Public Hospitals

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2009

The National Patient Safety Foundation, the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, and Kaiser Permanente this week launched the "Patient Safety Initiative at America's Public Hospitals."

Kaiser Permanente contributed $718,010 to fund 85 hospitals for the two-year program. Forty-two hospitals were selected for Phase I in 2009, with the remaining 43 to be selected for Phase 2 in 2010. There is potential to expand this program to all 140 NAPH member hospitals.

"This unique partnership with Kaiser Permanente and NAPH is a remarkable opportunity for the National Patient Safety Foundation to contribute to the pursuit and delivery of safe care for the tens of millions of patients who depend on America's public hospitals each year," said Diane Pinakiewicz, president of NPSF. "We have deep respect and admiration for the commitment, determination, and skill of those at the forefront of care in safety net hospitals across the nation, and feel privileged to do our part, through NPSF patient safety programs and resources, to support their meaningful work."

The safety initiative hopes to:

  • Position public hospitals on the leading edge of patient safety and quality care.

  • Establish a consistent and shared pool of patient safety knowledge, tools, and techniques.

  • Develop a community of public hospital clinicians, patient safety and quality leaders, and hospital executives committed to this initiative.

  • Garner measurable results in patient safety practices.

  • Create patient and community programs fostering communication that engages, informs, and builds confidence in the public hospital system.

The hospitals in the initiative are from across the nation and include single hospitals and larger systems, some new to patient safety and quality efforts and others with more advanced programs. The program hopes to enhance the culture and leadership, infrastructure and measurement capabilities, and metrics for evidence in improving patient safety and outcomes at each of the hospitals.

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