Improving practice operations boosts safety

Increasingly, medical practices are instituting routines designed to improve patient safety and at the same time, help patients understand what they need to do to bring what they've learned home with them. In one instance, Kaiser Permanente has begun providing patients "after-visit summaries" allowing them to capture what they've learned during their visit and review self-care instructions.

In another case, a number of industry groups have banded together to help doctors assess their practice's efficiency and safety level. The groups, including the Medical Group Management Association, the Commonwealth Fund and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices recently launched the Web-based "Physician Practice Patient Safety Assessment." The Web tool helps doctors track medication use and share information with patients.

Using the tool pointed out some significant process issues for the participating medical groups. Of the first 164 medical practices studied, 31 percent had no safety procedures for medications in place, and 20 percent had no patient education programs in place.

Get more information on practice improvement:
- read this Medical News Today article