Substantial, Meaningful Patient Safety Improvements mad by the Authority, Healthcare Providers, and Other Agencies

Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Estimates Thousands of Lives and Millions of Dollars Saved in Pennsylvania 

medical personnel standing in a row giving a thumbs up 

Harrisburg, Pa., Dec. 19, 2016 —The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority estimates more than 2,600 lives and more than $147 million dollars were saved from 2004 through 2015 in Pennsylvania through the combined patient safety improvement efforts of Pennsylvania healthcare facilities, statewide quality and safety improvement entities, and the Authority.

The Authority sought to measure the effectiveness of its data collection, data analysis, information dissemination, and statewide collaborative learning to reduce healthcare-associated patient harm in the commonwealth.

Certain patient safety measures (i.e., measures in which concentrated improvement efforts have occurred) were chosen for analysis: falls with harm, central line-associated bloodstream infection, catheter-associated urinary tract infection, wrong-site surgery, and high harm events.

Then, using the data reported through its Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System and the National Healthcare Safety Network, the Authority computed event trends and employed evidence-based mortality and economic estimates to calculate the theoretical lives and dollars saved over the reporting periods.

“Placing a value on our collective work to improve patient safety in Pennsylvania was a challenging, but necessary task” said Ellen S. Deutsch, MD, medical director for the Authority. “Focusing on the most robust patient safety initiatives and using the most comprehensive data sources gives the Authority a solid estimate that strongly suggests a reduction of patient harm and improvement in patient safety throughout the commonwealth,” added Deutsch.

In its analysis, the Authority also found that developing collaborations between facilities and other state agencies has helped facilities improve patient safety in specific areas.

“We know that our engagement with healthcare facilities and other organizations plays a huge role in the positive outcomes we have seen from our work,” said Regina Hoffman, executive director for the Authority. “Are patients safer in Pennsylvania because of the collective efforts connected with the establishment of the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act and subsequent legislation? This question is ever present, and now we have an answer, one about which we are extremely proud. However, we know there is still much to do,” said Hoffman.

By sharing the results of this analysis, the Authority hopes that the conversation about patient safety and the effectiveness of the efforts around it can continue and hopefully result in further improvements.

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Additional articles in this issue of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory offer in-depth data analysis, education, resources, guidance, and strategies about the following:

Download the complete issue of the December 2016 Patient Safety Advisory.

About the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority: The Authority was established under Act 13 of 2002, the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (“Mcare”) Act, as an independent state agency. The Authority is charged with taking steps to reduce and eliminate medical errors by identifying problems and recommending solutions that promote patient safety. For more information about the Authority, please visit our website at www.patientsafetyauthority.org or call 717-346-0469