Medical Harm Complaint System Could be Quality Data Goldmine
A Prototype for Patient Safety Events
A notice last month in the Federal Register justifies the need for such a project because of "a growing body of evidence that many adverse medical events go unreported in current systems."
"Have you recently experienced a medical mistake?" asks a flier developed for the effort by the ECRI Institute, one of AHRQ's contractors for this project. Fliers would be distributed to patients at hospital kiosks and pharmacies. "Do you have concerns about the safety of your healthcare? Contact the Consumer Reporting System for Patient Safety: 1-800-XXX-XXXX."
Today, “almost all healthcare organizations have a way of accepting patient complaints," says William Munier, MD, director of the AHRQ Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. "What we have in mind with this research study is to expand significantly the potential to learn from patients, who have a unique and invaluable perspective on the care they are receiving.
"Feedback from patients, when aggregated and made available to providers, can facilitate improving the quality and safety of care very significantly," Munier says.
The prototype is undergoing review during a regulatory comment period, and may be revised in the next few months.
The idea is that patients or their caregivers or family members who report an incident would be asked a series of questions either by telephone or on a secure website. Their responses would be confidential.
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