VHA: Prepare for rising safety expectations

No one would argue that hospitals have always been concerned with patient safety. But over the next year or two, hospitals should face greatly expanded pressure to provide safe care, predicts Trent Haywood, M.D., J.D., chief medical officer with the VHA Inc. "In the past, improving safety was an aspirational goal," Haywood told a group of reporters attending the organization's annual conference in Denver. "Now it's the bare minimum. It's like with [airline travel]: No one held a party because I arrived here safely from Chicago." Dr. Haywood, formerly deputy chief medical officer for CMS's Office of Clinical Standards and Quality, said that management engineers skilled in both process improvement and clinical performance should play a key role in bringing up safety performance within hospitals. As a result of these pressures, Haywood also expects to see hospitals and health systems put an even greater emphasis on integrating physicians and ancillary providers into their process.

To learn more about VHA's safety efforts:
- read this release 

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