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Improved Patient Safety
Finding Support & Resources
Patient Safety in Tight Economic Times
Participating State teams discussed the challenges associated with accessing the resources needed to promote improvements in patient safety in the current economic environment. Among the possible strategies identified for securing the necessary support and resources for patient safety activities were the following:
- Seek the involvement of other organizations and activities focused on quality improvement efforts.
For example, William Golden of the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care described the contributions that Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) can make to States' patient safety activities. He explained that QIOs operate in every State under contract with the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve the quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. About two-thirds of the QIOs also perform independent quality oversight/utilization review for State Medicaid programs. A number of QIOs are involved in activities specifically focused on patient safety which include, but are not limited to, reducing the incidence of pressure ulcers, cardiac errors of omission, and use of restraints in nursing homes as well as improving perinatal care.
- Find additional resources, tools, and expertise in many of the quality improvement efforts in the private sector.
These include, but are not limited to, the Patient Safety Foundation, Leapfrog Group, Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Organizations, National Committee on Quality Assurance, etc.
- Identify and build upon the synergies that exist between patient safety and other important health care initiatives.
Nancy Ridley, Assistant Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health noted that the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) bioterrorism preparedness programs offer a number of synergies that can help State officials and patient safety experts address both agendas. She suggested that States carefully review the guidance documents for HRSA's Hospital Preparedness Program Cooperative Agreements and the CDC's Cooperative Agreement on Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism to identify common agendas and potential synergies in the areas of surveillance capacity, credentialing, health alerts, and risk communication technology.
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