Patient Safety Portal

The Institute of Medicine’s To Err is Human report completely rocked the United States healthcare system in 1999 when its authors estimated that up to 98,000 patients were dying in hospitals across the country each year as a direct result of preventable medical errors. Recently, a new estimate determined this number had likely reached upwards of 400,000 preventable deaths per year. These statistics made preventable medical errors the top five causes of death in healthcare in the United States. Healthcare facilities must focus on eliminating these preventable harms and build robust patient safety infrastructure across the entire healthcare continuum of care. The outcome goal MUST be Safe and Reliable care for all patients.

Healthcare leaders have four main responsibilities as identified by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement:

Guarding the Learning System
Leaders must fully engage in the work of self-reflection which will lead to transparency. In addition, leaders must have operational working knowledge of how to apply improvement science, reliability science, creating a culture of continuous learning, and how to inspire that work throughout the organization.
Creating Psychological Safety
Leaders must ensure that anyone within the healthcare organization whether a healthcare professional or a patient/family member feel comfortable to voice concerns, suggestions, or other ideas for change.
Fostering Trust
Leaders must create an environment of non-negotiable respect, ensuring that all people involved in the system feel their opinions are valued. In addition, leaders must be prepared to immediately address any negative or abusive behavior.
Ensuring Value Alignment
Lastly, leaders must apply organizational values to every decision that they make and consider safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and healthcare equity.

Organizations such as the Institute for Healthcare Improvement are leading the way in advancing patient safety on a global scale. Each patient seeking healthcare services both deserves and expects to have a safe and efficient care delivery experience. The resources on this patient safety portal are designed to assist any healthcare provider or leader with implementing best practices in advancing patient safety across the continuum of care. On this resource portal, you will find 8 sections containing important resources in building and maintaining your institutional patient safety program. These resources are organized into the following categories for ease of reference.

  1. Domains of Patient Safety: Culture and the Learning System
  2. Components of Culture and the Learning System
  3. Engaging Patients and Families
  4. Communication Tools
  5. Patient Safety Organizational Resources

By developing a comprehensive and organizational patient safety program, healthcare facilities can create groundswells in advancing patient safety for every single patient across the continuum of care.