Two organizations that have played major roles in promoting quality healthcare are merging, according to a joint announcement Monday from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the National Patient Safety Foundation.
Founded 20 years ago, the Boston-based NPSF conducts education, research, and advocacy in support of patient safety and healthcare workforce safety. It is also home to the Lucian Leape Institute, a patient safety think tank, as well as a credentialing program for patient safety professionals. Both of those programs will continue.
The IHI, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has a broader mandate that includes patient safety. The organization promotes the “science of improvement” including the development and testing of programs and approaches designed to improve care and reduce costs.
In a statement announcing the merger, IHI CEO Derek Feeley noted that safety “competes” with other IHI efforts such as population health. The merger aims to “reset and re-energize the patient safety agenda.”
Feeley will lead the combined organizations.
Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, is the CEO of the National Patient Safety Foundation. She called the merger “a game-changing opportunity” for the patient safety field. The two organizations’ program are “distinct, but highly compatible,” she said.
Gandhi will lead the combined patient safety teams.
The announcement was accompanied by a “Call to Action” from NPSF for “coordinated public health responses to improve patient safety. The statement notes that despite several decades of research and action, “the scale of improvement has been limited and inconsistent.”
Meaningful advancement in patient safety, it continues, “requires a shift from reactive, piecemeal interventions occurring at individual organizations to a coordinated system-wide effort geared at providing safe care delivery across all aspects of care.”
The Call to Action sets forth six categories of recommendations, ranging from a call to establish a national steering committee and a national action plan for the prevention of health care-associated harm to a call to expand or develop education, training, and resources for the healthcare workforce.