Partnership for Patients Plans Release of Assessment Tool to Prioritize Safety Efforts

March 14, 2012 | Risk Management News

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Partnership for Patients is planning to release an organizational assessment tool to assist hospitals in evaluating their current patient safety practices, said Jack Jordan, the partnership’s deputy director, during the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management’s (ASHRM) March 8, 2012, webinar “Getting to Zero: Eliminating Preventable Serious Safety Events.” The tool, which can be completed by the hospital’s quality director or a hospital leadership team, assesses hospital practices in the following areas: safety culture, leadership, measurement, medication safety, purchasing practices, patient safety procedures, risk management, nursing practices, communication, and infection control. “It’s not an assessment of needs but of current practices,” said Jordan, and it is intended to help hospitals “look for their blind spots.” The tool is not yet available from the Partnership for Patients, a public-private partnership designed to improve healthcare quality and safety, although a version of the tool is posted online. During the webinar, which celebrated Patient Safety Awareness Week, speakers also addressed three high-risk events—obstetric events, falls, and surgical site infections—and provided recommendations to reduce these serious safety events.

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