AHRQ Update: Making Health Care Safer II

safetyThe AHRQ has put out an updated Making Health Care Safer report as a sequel to the initial 2001 report.  The influential and controversial 2001 report became the cornerstone of many patient safety practices, but many safety indicators haven’t improved as much as was hoped.  As a result, the current report sought to look at more context and generalization, as well as unintended consequences.

The current report was made by conducting a systematic literature review that provides a clear look at a large number of patient safety practices. Here’s a few of the STRONGLY encouraged patient safety practices:

  • Preoperative checklists and anesthesia checklists to prevent operative and post-operative events.
  • Bundles that include checklists to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections.
  • Interventions to reduce urinary catheter use, including catheter reminders, stop orders, or nurse-initiated removal protocols.

There’s also a list of encouraged patient safety practices that were important enough to be mentioned, but didn’t quite make in on the STRONGLY encouraged list. Here’s a few things from that list:

  • Multicomponent interventions to reduce falls.
  • Use of clinical pharmacists to reduce adverse drug events.
  • Documentation of patient preferences for life-sustaining treatment.

Incidentally, UMHS has an active Patient Safety MovementDr. Sanjay Saint, for example, has done a lot of research on patient safety and catheter-associated UTIs, which is one of the strongly suggested items on the AHRQ report. To learn more about his research , you can watch this interview of him discussing the topic.

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