In the United States, vaccine-preventable diseases cost in excess of $10 billion annually. Pneumococcal disease and influenza combined were the 8th leading cause of death in 2004 (Kung, et al., 2008).
Unknown to most Americans, the United States provides universal health coverage to its more than 305 million citizens and legal residents.
For as long as healthcare professionals have worked to improve patient safety, they have debated which criteria are appropriate for evaluating improvement initiatives and what evidence is required before programs are widely implemented.
Jackson Memorial Hospital is a 1,600-bed tertiary care facility in Miami, Florida, and serves as the primary teaching hospital for the University of Miami — Miller School of Medicine.
Healthcare consumers are increasingly aware of medical error and publicly reported quality measures.
With the increased focus on transparency in healthcare, it is now more than ever in a hospital’s best interest to have a robust peer review program that aligns with national patient safety efforts.
Communication in the perioperative environment is critical for patient safety and effective teamwork. Team members need to know the name of the patient, scheduled procedure, patient precautions and allergies, along with names of team members working together for a given case. Over the past several years, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) developed an intra-operative dashboard in collaboration with LiveData (Cambridge, Massachusetts) to aid in the Timeout/Universal Protocol process as well as provide these critical communication elements (Figure 1).
Following the passage of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, the federal government is readying a final rule that aims to encourage health providers to report, learn from, and ultimately reduce the incidence of medical errors.
Soon healthcare facilities will need to absorb the direct cost of objects retained during surgery because these occurrences are now considered “preventable conditions” for which the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services won’t pay (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2007).