Presented by: Impact of the Patient Safety Movement
Taking a page from the playbook from other high-risk industries, the healthcare industry has transformed its approach to addressing medical errors by looking at process improvements.
It’s about managing processes at the front end to try to prevent things from going wrong, as opposed to reacting to things having gone wrong.
Diane Pinakiewicz, National Patient Safety Foundation
The patient safety movement took flight in the mid- to late-1990s, seeking a solution to the problem of medical errors. Other high-risk industries had disciplines for process improvements to prevent errors, but the healthcare industry lagged behind.
The application of these disciplines – such as human factors and safety sciences – changed how healthcare risk managers viewed their role. Instead of just reacting to errors they couldn’t ignore, they started studying errors, targeting process improvements to address them, and proactively managing processes to prevent errors from occurring.
The patient safety movement spurred other changes, such as how healthcare organizations disclose medical errors. Healthcare providers, for the first time, started talking to patients about what happened, explaining what went wrong, and apologizing.
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