National Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Expert Says U.S. Healthcare 'Not as Safe' as Americans Believe

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 11, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A new tool for measuring patient safety shows that the American healthcare system "isn't as safe as we thought it was," according to David Classen, MD, senior partner at CSC and associate professor of medicine at the University of Utah.



"While traditional measurements of patient safety show that our system is very safe, a new global trigger tool developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) shows that the current safety measures pick up less than 10 percent of injuries patients suffer in the hospital," said Classen.

The global trigger tool allows a hospital to examine patient charts for 60 different indicators of an adverse outcome. In development for the past 10 years, the tool is a new method for detecting safety problems and will be detailed over the next few months in a report to Congress and in several medical journals, Classen noted.

Classen was a keynote speaker at the MedeAnalytics Clinical Leadership Summit held Nov. 11–12 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

Two pioneers in the use of the new trigger methodology are Baylor Healthcare System in Dallas and Florida Hospital System in Orlando.

In addition to these major healthcare systems, the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General has used the trigger tools to study the safety of care provided to Medicare patients. Results of the study will be released to Congress in the next few weeks, according to Classen, who noted, "It will show that there are a lot of safety problems in the system."

The business case for adopting this new trigger patient safety technology is that it will help prevent complications from hospital care. "The trigger tool in particular and analytics in general are absolutely essential core competencies if we are to reduce costs and improve care."

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SOURCE MedeAnalytics