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ISMP To Work With New Expert Committee To Improve Patient Safety

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is collaborating with a number of patient advocacy groups to accelerate improvements to patient safety in the U.S. healthcare system, according to a recent announcement.

Two new collaborative efforts are being pursued, with ISMP indicating in a press release issued on last week that it is joining the National Steering Committee for Patient Safety formed in May, and the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Collaborative.

The steering committee seeks to create a national action plan that will guide nationwide patient safety efforts. It includes healthcare experts, patient advocates, and regulators. The committee plans to identify action priorities, and coordinate strategies for addressing key areas of patient safety concern.

The committee is organized and led by The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

“For decades, experts have called for increased coordination to improve patient safety, but such a strategy has not been fully instituted,” IHI Chief Clinical and Safety Officer, and co-chair of the committee, Dr. Tejal Gandhi said in a press release (PDF). “There is still so much work to be done in patient safety, in part because we’ve reached the limits of what a project-by-project approach can achieve. Instead of declaring ‘mission accomplished,’ we need to take steps to advance total systems safety — safety that is reliably and uniformly applied wherever care is provided.”

The National Patient Safety Collaborative is an effort by the Joint Commission which seeks to coordinate the efforts of patient safety groups nationwide.

The Joint Commission is a not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies health care groups and programs in the U.S. While it is independent and not a government organization, it’s certifications are widely recognized in the U.S. healthcare industry.

A patient survey published by IHI in 2017 found that one-fifth of all Americans are affected by medical errors.

In addition, 31 percent of patients said they knew someone whose care they were personally involved with who experienced a medical error as well. But the study found that less than half of those who felt there had been a medical mistake then brought it to the attention of healthcare professionals at the facility where it occurred.

The study also found that the majority of medical errors occurred in outpatient settings, and that medical misdiagnosis and failures in communication between healthcare professionals and patients are the most common causes. Nearly 60% of those who say they had an experience with a medical error cited misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or a failure to diagnose as the problem.

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