5/11/2018
Pennsylvania Emerges as National Patient Safety Leader

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Harrisburg, Pa., May 10, 2018 — The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority released its 2017 annual report, focusing on Pennsylvania's emergence as a national leader in patient safety, and with more than 3 million event reports, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System (PA-PSRS) continues to be the most robust event reporting system in the country.

"Pennsylvania is dedicated to providing top-quality programs and services that benefit the health, safety, and well-being of everyone in the Commonwealth," said Dr. Stanton Smullens, Vice Chair of the Authority's Board of Directors. "With the passage of the MCARE Act sixteen years ago, Pennsylvania became an example for the rest of the nation about the importance of mandating patient safety reporting on a broad level."

To achieve the success outlined in the annual report, the Authority focused its efforts on three core principals – innovation, reach, and impact.

In 2017, thirteen thousand healthcare professionals were educated across 348 regional and statewide events, and Authority staff were invited to speak nationally about the work being done in Pennsylvania to reduce patient harm.

The Authority added guidance and expertise on emerging patient safety fields such as diagnostic error and bullying and has made most resources available at the bedside.

Optimal use of technology helped the agency reach a wider audience, engaging nearly 4,700 professionals in 45 educational webinars. Utilizing webinars helped account for the 23% increase in educated individuals from 2016.

"Saying the healthcare industry is rapidly changing is an understatement. Each day, clinicians are faced with new medications, new technology, changing payment models, and new diseases, none of which necessarily make it easier or safer to provide care," says Regina M. Hoffman, Executive Director at the Authority. "The Authority recognizes these changes and adapts its offerings to help healthcare workers stay on the cutting edge and provide safer care to the millions of people across this Commonwealth. However, our work is far from done. The fact that our families, our neighbors, and our friends are still affected by preventable medical harm is not lost on us. It is the very reason we strive to be the best in what we do."

Through the purposeful dissemination of timely and relevant patient safety information to both acute and long-term care health facilities in Pennsylvania, the Authority was able to help Pennsylvania achieve a variety of notable accomplishments in 2017.

In addition to being the most robust event reporting system in the United States, PA-PSRS now contains the nation's most comprehensive database on long-term care infections. Per the

CDC's most recent HAI Progress Report, last updated in 2016, Pennsylvania was one of only three states that scored better than the national standardized infection ratio (SIR) and the national benchmark for CLABSI, CAUTI, MRSA, C. Difficile, and surgical site infections for colon surgery (the others being Oregon and Wisconsin).

Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory

The Advisory, the Authority's quarterly peer-reviewed journal, shares in-depth data analysis from PA-PSRS reports. The millions of data points contained within PA-PSRS provides broad insight into emerging trends that can be unapparent at the healthcare facility level.

This insight has positioned the Advisory as one of the most well-read patient safety publications in the world, with over 4,000 readers last year across 33 countries and 46 states. Topics in 2017 included safety culture, handoff communications, bullying, and retained surgical items.

Each year, the Authority surveys Pennsylvania's patient safety officers (PSOs) to determine the impact of the Advisory on healthcare facility improvements.

With the completion of this past year's survey, there have been over 5,000 documented improvements attributed to the Advisory. Notable for this year was the development of a standardized count for items in the operating room, the implementation of a "Good Catch" recognition program, and the revamp of a surgical timeout process.

I Am Patient Safety

2017 marked the fifth anniversary of "I Am Patient Safety," the Authority's annual contest recognizing Pennsylvania healthcare workers exhibiting outstanding dedication to patient safety. Ten winning individuals or teams were selected from nine categories and 206 submissions, making it the Authority's most successful contest to date.

Access the full report.

For more information about the Authority, patient safety topics, Advisory articles, and safety tips for patients, please visit patientsafety.pa.gov.

The Authority's mission is to improve the quality of healthcare in Pennsylvania by collecting and analyzing patient safety information, developing solutions to patient safety issues, and sharing this information through education and collaboration. Its vision is safe healthcare for all patients.

©2018 Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority