Patient Safety

Our goal: Work with countries, regions, organizations, and individuals to build safety into every system of care, ensuring that patients receive the safest, most reliable care across the continuum. More >>

In the Spotlight

To Improve Patient Safety, Start with Avoiding Unnecessary Treatments
This NPSF Patient Safety Blog post by Lown Institute Senior Vice President Shannon Brownlee discusses the prevalence of overuse as a major patient safety issue. “Part of the tragedy of harmful medical care is that often treatments that end up causing harm weren't needed in the first place. Unnecessary or ineffective medical treatments, tests, drugs, and days in the hospital account for anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of total medical expenditures in the US.”

New Report on Harms During Childbirth
A report by Public Citizen concludes that while there are pockets of remarkable progress, there remains much to be done to improve safety during childbirth. “Reducing the US infant mortality rate to the levels of France, Italy, and Spain would save more than 10,000 lives a year.” The report outlines recommended practices and highlights organizations achieving improved outcomes. IHI’s perinatal safety expert, Sue Gullo, is quoted. The author of the report, Taylor Lincoln, also wrote a related editorial in the Huffington Post.

Intensive Care Units Use Common and Contrasting Methods to Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia
This BMJ Quality Improvement Report, written by Malcolm Daniel, IHI/Health Foundation Quality Improvement Fellowship alum, and his colleagues, describes the implementation of a VAP bundle in ICUs in two different hospitals in Scotland. “While a run chart may show impressive improvement,” the authors argue, “it is the ‘details behind the dots’ that allows generation of hypotheses on how these changes were achieved.”

If Patients Only Knew How Often Treatments Could Harm Them
This New York Times article discusses the finding that there is a significant gap between what patients expect from their care and what they actually get. “Most patients overestimate the benefits of medical treatments, and underestimate the harms; because of that, they use more care.”


Upcoming Educational Programs

20th Annual International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare
April 21-24 | London, England

Advancing Pain Management and Opioid Safety
Begins April 22 | IHI Expedition

Perfecting Emergency Department Operations
April 28-29 | Cambridge, MA

Using a Multidisciplinary Approach to Improve Hand Hygiene
Begins May 27 | IHI Expedition

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