Radisphere, the largest and fastest-growing national radiology group in the United States, has announced that it is the first radiology group to voluntarily participate in Clarity Group Inc.’s Patient Safety Organization (PSO). Clarity PSO, a Division of Clarity Group, Inc., was one of the first PSOs to be federally listed and certified by the federal Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Since 2001, Radisphere has conducted its own quality programs to measure and benchmark activities to improve physician performance and patient safety. Through this collaboration, Radisphere now reports their quality data to Clarity PSO to help Radisphere and the field of radiology further identify and reduce risks of medical errors to improve quality outcomes, and ultimately, patient safety.
Radisphere also contributed to a Clarity whitepaper that provides an overview of a “Just Culture” Radiology Peer Review Process. Available from Clarity PSO in June 2012, the whitepaper describes best practices in peer review, introduces philosophies of a “just culture,” and demonstrates how certain approaches to quality programs can lead to improved physician performance and quality care.
“We are pleased with Radisphere’s long-term commitment and active participation,” said Tom Piotrowski, RN, MSN, CSSGB, Executive Director of Clarity PSO, a Division of Clarity Group, Inc. “Radisphere’s decision to share data is consistent with its long-standing focus on transparency, quality improvement and patient safety. Sharing and evaluating this data allows us to work together to prevent similar medical errors from affecting other physicians and patients at other hospitals.”
PSOs are independent entities that assist providers in collecting and analyzing patient safety event information. The Patient Safety Quality Improvement Act of 2005 legislation offers federal protection to providers who report information such as medical errors and radiology physician peer review information to PSOs. This federal protection is meant to encourage providers to report events that may have otherwise gone unreported due to fear of litigation.
In its “Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture: 2012 User Comparative Database Report,” AHRQ surveyed more than 500,000 staffers representing 1,128 hospitals. The majority of respondents, including physicians, believed that their mistakes were held against them. This belief has contributed to defensive medicine, increased treatment costs, and built a barrier in identifying error-reduction strategies, all of which inhibit the advancement of healthcare quality. Clarity PSO and other PSOs are part of AHRQ’s strategy to improve quality by changing the culture of evaluating physician performance and reducing radiology medical errors.
“Together with Clarity PSO, we are working to create an environment where Radisphere’s radiologists and hospital clients can learn from errors in a positive, encouraging environment rather than a punitive one,” said Teri Yates, chief compliance officer and director of quality management at Radisphere. “Joining a PSO was a natural step in the evolution of Radisphere’s quality programs. The partnership with Clarity has enabled us to learn from other experts in the field of healthcare quality, and the implementation was cost-effective, straightforward and simple. For us the question was, ‘Why wouldn’t we participate in a PSO?’ We believe that dedication to patient safety, which has been a focus of Radisphere’s since 2001, is something that all healthcare organizations must embrace in order to thrive. Senior healthcare leaders should look closely at the value that PSO participation can bring to their organizations and their patients.”
About Clarity PSO
Clarity PSO (http://www.claritygrp.com/patient-safety-organization.aspx), a Division of Clarity Group, Inc., offers healthcare providers the opportunity to participate in patient safety and quality improvement efforts with the federal privilege and confidentiality protections of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (Patient Safety Act). The Patient Safety Act protections include a privilege against discovery in potential litigation. Any provider licensed to provide healthcare services may participate in this program. Clarity PSO is a federally listed Patient Safety Organization (P0015) with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality based in Rockville, Maryland.
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Radisphere (www.radispheregroup.com) is the largest and fastest-growing national radiology group in the United States and is setting the standard for quality in radiology. Radisphere is the exclusive radiology provider to more than 30 hospitals in 11 states, and measurably improves quality, increases medical staff satisfaction, drives growth and reduces costs. Radisphere’s locally based radiologists are aligned with their hospital clients and are supported by the industry’s premier network of subspecialists and a proprietary, cloud-based technology platform. Radisphere’s standards-based delivery model guarantees faster, more accurate diagnoses and appropriate utilization.