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Agencies Schedule Conference on Best Practices for Enhancing Work Conditions, Patient Safety

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Press Release Date: October 10, 2000

The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), the National Center for Infectious Diseases, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Veterans Health Administration will sponsor a national conference October 17-18 in Pittsburgh on how to enhance working conditions and patient safety in health care settings.

This "best practices" conference will focus on evidence-based approaches to improving both working conditions and patient safety in health care. Conference participants will discuss successful and unsuccessful practices in these areas by reviewing both the barriers encountered and practical examples of improvements that can be replicated by others. Building on insights gained from a similar meeting held in October 1999, the conference format will facilitate discussion, in particular, of interventions, programs, policies, or procedures in areas such as staffing and organization of work, physical environment, and organizational culture.

In addition, the conference will also address work place safety in health care facilities. Breakout sessions will be held that will focus on understanding the unique risks and potential safety hazards encountered by health care workers and how improving worker safety can result in better quality of care for patients.

The conference is part of a larger effort directed by the Federal Quality Interagency Coordination (QuIC) Task Force to enable all Federal agencies with responsibility for health care to coordinate their activities to measure and improve quality of care. The audience for the conference includes health care providers, workers and their representatives, researchers, and others from government, academia, accrediting organizations, insurance systems, and quality measurement groups.

Among those making presentations are representatives of the sponsoring organizations, and representatives from private industry, labor, and other sectors.

Members of the press can register to attend, or arrange to interview conference participants, by contacting Fred Blosser, NIOSH Public Affairs, (202) 260-8519.

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