Patient Safety Needs a Rescue

Joe Cantlupe, May 26, 2011

Reviewing the findings of HealthLeaders Media's intelligence report, the Drive to Patient Safety  one gets the sense that top health executives definitely want to steer in the right direction in terms of patient safety. But they also need to get in a faster lane.

Indeed, the survey shows that putting patient safety is among their top priorities, with 91% of the respondents saying it is a key concern. It is an area that health systems seek to be accountable for, says Bertine McKenna, COO of the Bassett Healthcare Network, in Cooperstown, NY, who reviewed the findings.

"That's definitely good news and shows a significant step in the right direction for many healthcare leaders," McKenna says.

Intelligence Report: The Drive to Patient Safety: Free Download.

But there are legitimate concerns over the health leaders' responses about communication and leadership structures tied to formulating patient safety plans. Those don't look good. They are issues that can significantly slow down the patient safety process.

Healthleaders acknowledged in the survey that communication is a potential stumbling block for improved patient safety initiatives as well as an area of risk to patient safety during transition of care.

About 49% of respondents said communication issues were among their strongest concerns. Moreover,  an alarming 56% of survey respondents said that important patient information "sometimes" is lost during shift changes. Another 12% said it "often happens," while  27% said it is a "rare occurrence"

Joe Cantlupe Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.Twitter
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