Patient Safety Awareness Week highlights how timeliness plays a part in the era of value-based care delivery

The National Patient Safety Foundation’s Patient Safety Awareness Week kicked off on Sunday.

A week where the efforts of healthcare professionals to keep patients safe and provide optimum, quality care is recognized. Critical to patient safety is the operational efficiency of a health system – and the strategies and tactics to maximize it.

An Institute of Medicine (IOM) report called Crossing the Quality Chasm continues to guide many patient safety improvement initiatives as it focused us all on six fundamental aims for healthcare—that it be safe, effective, patient-centered, efficient, equitable and timely.

The concept of timeliness continues to gain importance during this era of value based care delivery. The IOM released a separate study focused on the subject of time called Transforming Health Care Scheduling and Access: Getting to Now. Some of the key findings included the fact that long wait times are the result of:

  • Supply/demand mismatch
  • Under-use of non-physician staff
  • Care complexity
  • Geographic and financial access

In addition, there are no national standards for appropriate wait times. Institutions must create their own standards—with the IOM calling for healthcare leaders to conduct further research in this area.

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