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Translating Patient Safety Legislation into Health Care Practice

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Background: An independent state agency, the Authority is charged with taking steps to reduce and eliminate medical errors by identifying problems and recommending solutions that promote patient safety.

Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System (PA-PSRS): The Authority implemented PA-PSRS, a mandatory reporting and analysis system for both adverse events and near-misses, among 450 hospitals, birthing centers, and ambulatory surgical facilities. Pennsylvania is the only state to require the reporting of both adverse events and near-misses.

The Patient Safety Advisory: The Patient Safety Advisory is a quarterly publication containing articles about trends in reports submitted to PA-PSRS. The peer-reviewed articles include analysis of and lessons learned from PA-PSRS reports and evidence-based risk reduction strategies based on research in the clinical literature. To complement and reinforce the effectiveness of certain Advisory articles, the Authority has introduced electronic, educational tool kits on its Web site that can be downloaded. They include posters, draft policies, audio-slide presentations for staff training, and other materials related to clinical implementation of patient safety interventions and protocols.

Summary and Conclusion: In just over two years, the Authority has developed a program that turns reports into actionable items through the analysis and research of adverse events and near-misses.

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

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