Monitoring Patient Safety

There are numerous ways to measure quality and safety in healthcare organizations. Many governmental agencies and professional organizations have developed measures to determine the quality of care that a hospital provides, and to identify areas that need improvement. These include Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the Armstrong Institute at the Johns Hopkins University, and others. The tools developed by these agencies/organizations include the AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators, CMS Core Measures and the IHI Global Trigger Tool. Many of these tools include similar and overlapping indicators which are universally applicable.

Many hospitals and healthcare organizations in North America and Western Europe have developed their own Quality and Patient Safety Dashboards. The exact content of those dashboards is determined by the regulatory mandates and local, regional and national priorities. One common theme for most successful organization is the small number of meaningful indicators included in such dashboards. Many organizations generally recommend 5-12 indicators to be monitored and presented at the highest level of the organization.

Our approach to developing a toolkit to monitor patient safety is based on the C L E A R principles, which stipulates that such indicators should be:

 

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