Programfor Enhancing Patient Safety
Programfor enhancing patient safety
Enhancingpatient safety is an AHRQ multiple funded program whose mission is toprevent and cut down the number of medical errors, reduce all risksto patient safety and fill up all quality gaps to improve patientsafety. According to AHRQ 2015 patient safety report, this mission isachievable through supporting financially health services research inareas such as addressing patient safety threats and factors whichbring about medical errors. The program’s 2015 budget was $77million. Through effective cost cutting, 2016 budget has gone down to$76 million. The budget covers all projects aimed at minimizingmedical faults and patient safety risks. The funds also targets atestablishing cultures in health care settings that embrace patientsafety and health care quality. The budget also caters for intensiveresearch to identify better and effective strategies to enhancepatient safety.
Strategicplan of the program
Themain goal of this program’s is to ensure all sources of medicalerrors and health risks have been clearly identified, analyzed andeffective solutions formulate to improve patient safety. According toHall et al.(2010), any strategic plan aimed at enhancing patient safety shouldoutline effective interventions and strategies, which not onlyenhance patient safety but also improves the quality of hath careprovided to patients. The program has established Patient SafetyOrganizations (PSO), which are in charge of collecting and analyzingevents related to patient safety. After analyzing the events, theorganizations are supposed to give a feed back to clinicians andhealth care professionals, who in turn are supposed to use theinformation to impact positively on health care quality and patientsafety.
The program’s strategy is toimplement a research-oriented approach to establish all the sourcesof medical errors and health risks to close all the safety gaps andhence enhance patient safety. In its strategic plan, the program hasestablished steps and guidelines to ensure human resources, availableresources, finances and technology are effectively utilized inminimizing medical faults and health risks. As part of its strategicplan, the program funds intensive research and use of informationtechnology to develop the tools to enable health care providersassess the effectiveness of the various interventions to improvepatient safety. The program also focuses on enabling health careprofessionals and providers to identify any changes in patient safetyover time and evaluate whether the various interventions implementedto enhance patient safety are working or need to be altered orreplaced by more effective ones (Hallet al., 2010). The strategic plan also includes a teamwork system,which brings together health care professionals to improvecommunication, and teamworkskills, which are vital for improving patient safety(Gabow& Mehler, 2011).
Whatthe program implements to control the quality of health care
Theprogram has several ongoing projects, which conduct life-savingresearch aimed at reducing the number of medical faults and patientsafety risks to manage the quality of health care. According toAspden,et al. (2004), to effectively manage quality of health care,organizations both private and public are implementing programs andprojects which aim at enhancing patient safety. The programimplements strategies aimed at advancing patient safety and qualityof health care. The programs funds for evidence-based resources suchas toolkits for enhancing quality of care and create a culture ofsafety among health care providers. After establishing the sources ofmedical faults, the program funds for analysis to determine howvarious medical faults and patient health risks affect quality ofhealth care. The analysis provides an insight on how best the programcan implement effective interventions to control quality of healthcare.
Theprogram focuses on improving the experience and skills of health careprofessionals and providers to ensure they deliver quality healthcare. According to Gabow& Mehler (2011), training of health care professionals andintegration of technology in patient safety interventions are vitalfactors in enhancing health care quality. The program focuses onenhancing communication in health care settings as a strategy toenhance patient safety and quality of health care. Of more importanceis the integration of the numerous aspects of health care deliveryand management to impact positively on health care quality(Aspdenet al., 2004). The program also funds for monitoring and surveillanceto identify any health risks and other obstacles such as ineffectivehealth care interventions to achieving patient safety and qualityhealth care.
Strategiesfor cost containment
Theongoing public campaign to control the spending by health care hascreated the need for AHRQ to deliver a cost-effective health care.The patient safety program has implemented various measures tocontain cost while delivering high quality health care. One of thestrategies to control cost is aligning the program budget to layemphasis on quality health care and enhanced patient safety(Saha et al., 2001).Through this strategy, the program ensures that each dollar spent isaccounted for in terms of how it has been used in enhancing patientsafety and health care quality. The program also makes a comparisonof various strategies in terms of cost-effectiveness to choose themost cost-effective and one, which affects most on the quality ofhealth care.
Theprogram also conducts cost-effectiveness investigation to appraisewhether the improvement in patient safety and health care qualityjustifies the expenditure comparative to other options. The programinvolves all the stakeholders and invests in sourcing for outsidefinancial advisers in making decisions to make sound decisions, whichwill allow efficient utilizations of the program budget and allocatedresources. The use of technology and evidence-based research toimplement effective strategies is another effective strategy that theprogram has implemented to minimize cost through eliminating wastageof finances and resources in implementing ineffective health careintervention(Sahaet al., 2001).
Howthe program aligns with health care professionals
Toenhance patient safety and improve the quality health care, anyhealth care program must give support to health care professionals.This is a fact that AHRQ fully understands and its patient safetyenhancement program is designed in a manner that it works hand inhand with health care professionals. The program ensures health careprofessionals receive up-to-date training to keep up with theadvancing technology to deliver quality health care and improvepatient safety. According to Gabow& Mehler (2011), an integrated approach, which involves all thestakeholders, is necessary in affecting positively on patient safetyand health care quality. Health care professionals are among the mostimportant stakeholders of the patient safety program and therefore,the program invests heavily in providing them with the bestexperience. Before making any decision, health care professionals areinvolved to ensure their views are considered. Through this way, theprogram gets full support from the professionals in their variousprojects and activities since they deliver the best to make theirprojects successful. The health care professionals are wellcompensated and rewarded based on performance to keep them motivatedin ensuring the program’s mission is achieved.
Isthis a valuable program or a waste of taxpayer money? If the programhas faults, how could it be improved or should it be abandoned?
FromAHRQ, there is enough evidence to support the value of the program toenhance patient safety. According to AHRQ PSNet PatientSafety Networkreport, through this program, the mortality rate has reduced becauseof reduced number of deaths from medical faults and preventablepatient health risk. The program has also influenced health carequality by integration of evidence-based research and use oftechnology to develop tools for assessing and monitoring health caretrends in terms of quality improvement. The value of this program isgreatly felt in health care settings and home-based health care,which rely on research to implement effective interventions toimprove patient safety and minimize patient health risks.
Theprogram is a bit faulty since some medical mistakes still occur,especially errors related to surgery. Research has revealed that manyof these mistakes occur because of ignorance and negligence by somehealth care professionals. Such preventable errors lead to serioushealth complications and in some extreme cases deaths. The programcan be improved through integration of professional ethics andorganizational culture into its main objectives and strategic plan. Astrategic plan outlining health care professional ethics will ensureevery health care professional embraces the desired behavior, whichaligns with the mission of the program. According to Gabow& Mehler (2011), an effective program should embrace a broadapproach that integrates all important factors and this is samereason the patient safety program should include professional ethicsinto its strategic plan.
AHRQPSNet PatientSafety Network. Patientsafety. Retrieved22 July, 2015 from http://psnet.ahrq.gov/glossary.aspx#P.
AspdenP, Corrigan J, & Wolcott J, & Erickson, S, M. (2004). Patientsafety: achieving a new standard for care. Washington,DC: National Academies Press.
Gabow,P. & Mehler, P. (2011). A broad and structured approach toimproving patient safety and quality: Lessons from Denver Health.Health Affairs 30:612-618.
Hall,J., Peat, M., Birks, Y., Golder, S., Entwistle, V., Gilbody, S., …& Wright, J. (2010). Effectiveness of interventions designed topromote patient involvement to enhance safety: a systematicreview. Quality & Safety inHealth Care, 19(5).
Saha,S., Hoerger, T. J., Pignone, M. P., Teutsch, S. M., Helfand, M.,Mandelblatt, J. S., … & US Preventive Services Task Force.(2001). The art and science of incorporating cost effectiveness intoevidence-based recommendations for clinical preventiveservices. American journal ofpreventive medicine, 20(3),36-43.