Analysis Confirms Hospitals Profit from Patient Safety Investments

The case for hospitals to invest in patient safety initiatives and to improve their safety cultures is made even stronger than it already was by an analysis published today in the winter issue of California Association of Healthcare Quality Journal. Three officials at San Francisco-based health care consulting company Lumetra (www.lumetra.com) prepared the analysis, which cites gains in numerous areas from the investments made.

The authors -- Linda Sawyer, Ph.D., RN, COO of Lumetra; Allison Snow, MHA, VP of Healthcare Process Improvement; and Fabio Sabogal, Ph.D., a senior health care information specialist -- marshal data from sources including the Institute of Medicine, peer-reviewed journals, the National Quality Forum, and JCAHO to make their case, and their report notes that several organizations (including OSHA, CMS, the Joint Commission, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) are accelerating the patient safety movement in the United States.

The investments addressed in the analysis will reduce medical errors and adverse drug events, reduce the length of hospital stays that involve preventable adverse drug events, and diminish hospital-acquired infections. All of these benefit the facilities' bottom lines.

"I encourage every hospital administrator and health care provider to closely review this analysis," Sawyer said. "By understanding patient safety initiatives from a business perspective, hospitals can prioritize investments that foster the delivery of safe, efficient, and high-quality care -- a formula that will save money and lives."

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