Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority uses analytics to pinpoint medical error trends

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority is using SAS Visual Analytics to discover medical error trends and causes.

The organization collects medical error reports from more than 1,200 healthcare facilities to populate the Patient Safety Reporting System. The database includes more than 2.5 million medical error reports, each with over 200 data and text fields. Through SAS Visual Analytics, the PSA's Visual Analytics Reporting System combs the database and reports findings. For example, one of the Visual Analytics Reporting System's first reports showed the system reduced "high-harm" events in Pennsylvania reduced by 45 percent from 2005 to 2014.

"It is one thing to develop one of the nation's largest and best-known statewide patient safety databases. It's quite another to turn that data into lifesaving information," said Howard Newstadt, finance director and chief information officer at PSA.

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