As the goal of reducing hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) gains increasing traction, one nonprofit aims to wipe out preventable hospital deaths by the year 2020, U.S. News & World Report writes.
Though a recent government report indicates that HACs are on the decline, that's not enough for the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, which was started by Joe Kiani, an entrepreneur who specializes in noninvasive pulse oximeters, according to U.S. News.
The foundation outlines its mission as follows on its website:
Unify the healthcare ecosystem
Identify the challenges that are killing patients to create actionable solutions
Ask hospitals to implement Actionable Patient Safety Solutions
Ask med tech companies to share the data their devices generate in order to create a Patient Data Super Highway to help identify at-risk patients
Correct misaligned incentives
Promote love and patient dignity
In looking to achieve these goals, the foundation's biggest steps forward come from its annual summit, which brings together healthcare leaders and patients to discuss solutions for preventing HACs. One such patient is Alicia Cole, who told U.S. News that she joined the patient-advocacy movement after contracting MRSA and a flesh-eating disease in a hospital in 2006, turning what would have been a short stay into a prolonged nightmare.
"The most important thing is for people to speak up and ask questions," Cole told U.S. News. "I still have times when I'm uncomfortable speaking up because we're just taught to not question doctors."
While HACs have been identified as a major public health risk, some have worried that there isn't enough incentive for healthcare leaders to pursue change, as FierceHealthcare previously reported.
"It's not on the top priority list for CEOs. It's not what keeps CEOs awake at night. And until we get CEOs losing sleep about unsafe care, we're not going to make a big dent in the failures of our healthcare system," said Ashish K. Jha, M.D., a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.
The Patient Safety Movement Foundation aims to change this by reaching out to healthcare leaders, Michael Ramsay, chairman of the department of anesthesiology and pain management at Baylor University Medical Center and a member of the foundation's board of directors, told U.S. News. "We've got all the pieces to make hospitals safer places," he said. "It's a matter of getting people's attention and getting the word out to every person employed in the hospital."