Healthcare IT: Patient Safety, Engagement Relies on Crafting a Culture of Change

patient safety improvements through IT

What role does IT play in the improvement of patient safety? This article from Health IT Analytics helps to spread some light on the culture of change that will be needed to improve healthcare engagement outcomes:

Health IT Analytics Article Excerpt:

“Improving patient safety is primarily a matter of responsibility, says Dr. James Merlino, President and Chief Medical Officer of the Strategic Consulting Division of Press Ganey.  Healthcare organizations must take on the challenge of creating a “culture of care” that encompasses every member of the care team – including patients.

By broadcasting bold patient safety goals, engaging providers, and enacting patient-centric strategies for process improvement, healthcare organizations have the opportunity to make meaningful progress in the fight to reduce preventable patient harm.



“Organizations really need to adapt a strategic objective of patient centricity,” Merlino toldHealthITAnalytics.  “They have to get across to everyone that works in healthcare that they exist for the patient, and that their purpose is to deliver on the promises that they implicitly make with their patients: providing a safe, high-quality, human environment where the patient feels cared for.”

To do this, organizational leaders have to be sure that their staff members are not only educated about patient safety risks, but fully committed to eliminating preventable harm all together. “You must set the goal at zero,” Merlino stated. “Patient safety must be an uncompromisable core value of your organization.” “What I find in some of the organizations that we work with is that they have differing degrees of alignment around the topic.  Obviously, nobody comes to work in healthcare because they think about wanting to harm a patient.”

“But accidents do happen, because we’re human.  We just need to think about how to integrate the best possible processes into the care system, and it has to start with a commitment from leadership to model these practices and create a culture that is deeply patient-centric.”

Read the full article on the Health IT Analytics website!


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Health IT Mistakes Can Hurt Patient Safety

breakdown of medical errors

Over on Health Data Management they recently published a report showing how some Health IT mistakes cause patient safety errors. As simulation touches so much technology and is driven to improve patient safety, I thought this important to consider for those in professional healthcare settings:

Despite the potential for health information technology to improve patient outcomes, adverse events associated with the use of health IT can cause extensive harm and are encountered across all healthcare settings.

That’s the finding of a new analysis of electronic health record-related harm in cases submitted to a large database of malpractice suits and claims maintained by CRICO, an evidence-based risk management group of companies owned by the Harvard medical community.

Researchers identified 248 malpractice cases showing serious unintended consequences from the use of EHRs, representing less than 1 percent of all cases in the database. Of cases with causes related to EHRs, 80 percent involved moderate or severe harm. EHR errors were found to occur more frequently in ambulatory settings than in inpatient settings. Although ambulatory care accounted for more than half of the cases, deaths were more likely to occur in inpatient settings.

Read the full article on Health Data Management’s website!