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Transforming Patient Safety: A Sector-Wide Systems Approach

Transforming Patient Safety: A Sector-Wide Systems Approach

Peter J Pronovost Alan D Ravitz Robert A Stoll Susan B Kennedy

This paper argues that patient harm can only be effectively managed by the induction of holistic models that integrate the dual impact societies and tech innovations play in shaping patient safety. In addition to addressing gaps in current health models and proposing possible solutions.

Fifteen years on from the publication To Err is Human, patient safety is now well established as an imperative for policymakers and healthcare providers and practitioners. However, the prevalence of avoidable harm remains high throughout the developed world and healthcare still has much to do to match the safety record of other high-risk industries. This Forum will provide innovative approaches to improving patient safety, and the evidence behind them, that will enable policymakers to prioritize patient safety within their health systems, leading to reduced patient harm and more cost-effective healthcare.

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Peter J Pronovost, MD, PhD, FCCM

Peter Pronovost is a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care physician who is dedicated to finding ways to make hospitals and healthcare safer for patients. In June 2011, he was named Director of the new Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins, as well as Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality. Dr Pronovost has developed a scientifically proven method for reducing the deadly infections associated with central line catheters. His simple but effective checklist protocol virtually eliminated these infections across the state of Michigan, saving 1,500 lives and $100 million annually. These results have been sustained for more than three years and the checklist protocol is now being implemented across the United States and in several other countries. Pronovost has chronicled his work to improve patient safety in his book, Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctor’s Checklist Can Help Us Change Health Care from the Inside Out. In addition, he has written more than 400 articles and chapters related to patient safety and the measurement and evaluation of safety efforts. He serves in an advisory capacity to the World Health Organization’s World Alliance for Patient Safety. Dr Pronovost has earned several national awards, including the 2004 John Eisenberg Patient Safety Research Award and a MacArthur Fellowship in 2008. He was named by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people and frequently addresses Congress on the importance of patient safety, prompting a report by the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform strongly endorsing his intensive care unit infection prevention program. Dr Pronovost previously headed Johns Hopkins’ Quality and Safety Research Group and was Medical Director of Hopkins’ Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care.