Preventable harm in health care has become a public health crisis, with estimates placing it as a leading cause of death in the United States, according to a new report from the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF). The group is calling on health care leaders and policymakers to initiate a coordinated public health response that will ensure that patients and those who care for them are free from preventable harm. Such an approach has already led to significant reductions in health care-associated infections, the NPSF says.
Despite localized efforts to improve patient safety, the results have been limited and inconsistent, according to the group. Some health care organizations have implemented successful safety strategies, such as using checklists, medication barcoding, and revamped care transitions, but others haven’t introduced such interventions or replicated the results.
The NPSF’s “call to action” includes the following steps:
Source: NPSF; March 13, 2017.