Earlier this month I received a call from Dr. Janet Corrigan, president of the National Quality Forum. She was calling to advise me that the Patient Safety Authority had been named a recipient of the 2006 John M. Eisenberg Award for advancing patient safety and quality. The call was unexpected but certainly a nice change from the usual business call in the middle of the week.
Presented jointly by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the National Quality Forum (NQF), the award acknowledges the Authority’s impact on patient safety on a regional level because of efforts to make the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System (PA-PSRS) into a nationally recognized resource for education and learning about patient safety.
That’s a pretty remarkable accomplishment for a relatively new agency. After all, it’s been only two years since mandatory reporting of adverse events and near-misses was initiated in Pennsylvania. But from the outset, we were determined to make PAPSRS more than a repository of data. We were committed to turning that data into usable information that would serve as a vehicle for change within the state’s healthcare industry. To a great extent I think we’re succeeding.
Through PA-PSRS, the Authority has developed a program that turns raw data into actionable items by analyzing and researching actual reports submitted by Pennsylvania’s healthcare facilities. Then, through the Patient Safety Advisory, we are able to disseminate the lessons learned from that research and share best practices with individual providers and institutional managers within Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
While the quality of PA-PSRS research is based on the commitment and scholarship of a dedicated team of clinical analysts, the program’s success is dependent on the commitment of individual healthcare facilities to actively participate in the PA-PSRS system. Facilities throughout the Commonwealth have not only complied with the technicalities of mandatory reporting, but have engaged their clinical and administrative staffs in enhancing patient safety within their organizations—by implementing innovative clinical protocols to reduce the risk of harm and improve patient outcomes, by instituting management policies that promote teamwork, empowerment and transparency among employees, and by adopting system-wide initiatives that foster a “culture of safety” within the organization.
The Authority’s ongoing success as a patient safety organization committed to facilitating change is dependent on the ongoing commitment of healthcare organizations to partnering with us in this effort. Not for the first time am I asking you to share your experiences with implementing significant patient safety improvements in your facilities. Please keep in touch with this office and the PA-PSRS staff so we can learn about how you are improving patient care in your facilities and share that information with your peers.
The Authority is in august company by winning an Eisenberg Award. Dr. Lucian Leape, Dr. Don Berwick, Dr. Peter Pronovost, the VA’s National Center for Patient Safety, and the Leapfrog Group are among current and previous winners, and three Pennsylvania hospitals received awards in past years. Receiving a 2006 Eisenberg Award is a great honor for the Authority’s Board and staff, but it’s a great honor, too, for Pennsylvania’s healthcare community— institutions, individual providers and other healthcare workers alike— whose ongoing commitment to patient safety validates our hard work. So, to all: Thanks for doing your part. Working together, I'm confident we will improve patient care for the people of Pennsylvania.
More information about the Eisenberg Awards can be found on the Authority’s website.