Patient and Family Involvement Emphasized in New NQF Safe Practices

Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media , January 6, 2010

The National Quality Forum (NQF) announced last week that it has endorsed an updated list of Safe Practices for Better Healthcare for 2010.

The Safe Practices Steering Committee added the latest evidence from healthcare literature and content experts to the list of 34 practices. Many of the Safe Practices were updated to include a stronger emphasis on patient and family involvement in care.

"Safe care is central to high-quality healthcare. While small scale advancements have been made, healthcare is not as safe as it should be," said Janet M. Corrigan, NQF president and CEO. "Safe Practices can guide healthcare systems in providing safer, higher-quality care, and involving patients and families in their care."

The 2010 update falls in line with the NQF's switch to annual Safe Practice revisions. The group released its original group of Safe Practices in 2003 and updated those in 2006 and again in 2009. The 2009 Safe Practices were divided up into the following categories:

  • Creating and sustaining a culture of safety

  • Informed consent, life-sustaining treatment, disclosure, and care of the caregiver

  • Matching healthcare needs with service delivery capability

  • Facilitating information transfer and clear communication

  • Medication management

  • Prevention of healthcare-associated infections

  • Condition- and site-specific practices

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