Creating an Integrated Patient Safety Team

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Creating a patient safety team: In May 2001 Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston) created the Patient Safety Team, which was incorporated into the preexisting safety and quality infrastructure.

Establishing the Patient Safety Team's goals and initiatives: The goal was to create the safest possible environment for patients and staff by creating a culture of safety, increasing the capacity to measure and evaluate processes, committing to change unsafe processes, and adopting new technologies. To achieve this mission, the following initiatives were established: create a culture of safety, increase event identification, improve event analysis, close the feedback loop, assess risk proactively, improve medication safety, and involve the patient.

Discussion: Integrating the Patient Safety Team into pre-existing committees and departments facilitated its work while helping to reinforce the multidisciplinary nature of safety efforts. It is critical that pre-existing groups feel that patient safety represents value added and is not a threat to their current roles.

Summary and conclusions: If a patient safety strategy and team are to be effective, commitment from the organization's leaders is essential. This team should also work with individual departments and pre-existing quality structures to drive changes to the systems of care to enable health care to become as safe as possible.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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