Date: April 14, 2011
- David C. Classen, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Utah; Active Consultant in Infectious Diseases, University of Utah School of Medicine; Senior Partner, CSC
- Roger K. Resar, MD, Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- Andrea Kabcenell, RN, MPH, Vice President, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- Kathleen M. Haig, RN, Corporate Patient Safety Officer, OSF Health Care System
It’s safe to say that reducing harm is a priority at virtually every health care delivery organization today in the US. Few health care leaders waste time anymore defending high rates of hospital-acquired infections or medication errors. Progress is also notable in this country and other nations similarly focused on improvement, when it comes to significant reductions in infections associated with use of central lines, ventilators, resistant bacteria, or with events such as preventable patient falls.
That’s the good news. The mixed news is that when independent researchers dig deep into patient charts and look for signs (or triggers) of adverse events using the IHI Global Trigger Tool (GTT) or something approximate — conducting reviews over a month, several months, even several years — they’re finding higher rates of harm than even the most committed improvers realize exist, especially if they’ve been relying on other, common detection methodologies. The latest findings to reinforce this gap in perception and facts on the ground have just been published in the journal, Health Affairs.
The article’s two leading authors, David Classen and Roger Resar, would like to help everyone make better sense of the mounting evidence that points to the power of the IHI GTT as a measurement and detection tool. WIHI host Madge Kaplan welcomes the two to the program, along with IHI Vice President Andrea Kabcenell and Kathleen Haig of OSF St. Francis Medical Center.
Drawing on our guests’ expertise, the goal of this timely WIHI is to explain why overall rates of adverse events haven’t been as affected by improvement strategies as many would have expected; how use of the IHI GTT can deepen understanding of where problems persist; what improvement strategies may best address areas in need of attention; and how it’s possible to work successfully with the GTT as part of an overall patient safety and harm reduction strategy — just ask OSF, which has seen marked improvement across their system and raised awareness with help from the regular, routine use of the GTT at seven hospitals.
We know everyone is working hard on multiple fronts to improve quality and safety. If efforts can become more targeted and effective, based on more robust detection methodologies, that’s a good thing.
Read the Health Affairs article.