Editor’s Notebook: Our First Issue


July / September 2004

Editor’s Notebook

Our First Issue

Welcome to the newest periodical in the dynamic world of patient safety: Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare (PSQH).Our goal is to provide “news, science, research,” and a forum for “opinion” to people from all quarters in the patient safety movement and everyone interested in improving quality in healthcare. This landscape stretches from clinicians implementing advanced decision-support systems to simple but crucial efforts to improve the frequency and effectiveness of hand washing among medical personnel. From federal healthcare initiatives launched during political campaigns to hospital policies for foreign language interpretation in the emergency room. From products scaled for sole practitioners to standards for seamless transfer of data across national health systems.

PSQH will be written largely by its readers, representing their experiences and concerns in healthcare. We can help with the writing process, but will look to people working in all aspects of healthcare to provide relevant and thought-provoking information. If you have something to say or want to suggest a topic or potential author, please call or send me an e-mail at susancarr@psqh.com.

Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare has roots in the Journal of Quality Health Care, the peer-reviewed Journal of ABQAURP, the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians. The new publication will still be the official journal for ABQAURP, which has strong membership on our Editorial Advisory Board and two pages of ABQAURP news printed in the magazine (see pages 38-39 in this issue). In coming months, we look forward to expanding the reach of PSQHwith involvement from other sponsoring organizations.

My expertise is in the art and science of publishing, but I have worked as an editor of healthcare publications since 1993. PSQH requires a larger “net” than any other publication I’ve worked on to catch the diverse topics and readers in this field. I am monitoring information from a diverse set of sources and plan to use this space occasionally to share interesting tidbits as I find them. For example, in the June 2004 issue of Diagnostic Imaging, Dr. Bradley Tipler notes that he has found that interruptions cause errors. He urges his radiologist colleagues„noted for their lack of patient contact„to “make a steady date with your images.” His message is to refuse to be interrupted while reading images and to treat the images with the same respect that a physician would give to a patient directly. To avoid mistakes and deliver the highest quality care, he recommends to radiologists, “When someone interrupts you, say you are ‘with a patient’ and ask the encroacher to wait.” By extension, his message is to approach all activities in healthcare as if a patient were present„simple but valuable advice.