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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: 2003-08-01

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  • The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety will be published by Elsevier beginning in 2017! For readers who receive access to the journal through their institutions, the journal can now be found on ScienceDirect ( For librarians looking to subscribe to the journal for their institutions please contact your Elsevier Account Manager or visit for more information. All other readers, please visit to subscribe to the journal or to claim your access for an existing subscription.
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