10 recommendations on how to increase transparency, improve patient safety

The National Patient Safety Foundation's Lucian Leape Institute has issued numerous recommendations to improve transparency after holding two roundtable discussions on the topic as it relates to patient safety.

The organization issued the recommendation to encourage transparency — which it believes will lead to improved outcomes, fewer errors, more satisfied patients and lower costs — between and among clinicians, healthcare organizations and the public.

Highlighted below are 10 recommendations included in the report:

1. Leaders and boards of health organizations should link hiring, firing, promotion, and compensation of leaders to results in cultural transformation and transparency.

2. Being transparent regarding the membership of the board is also vital for leaders.

3. Major healthcare organizations like the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Quality Forum, CMS and accreditation bodies should ensure data sources — such as claims data, patient registry data, clinical data and patient-reported outcomes — are accessible to patients and the public.

4. Executives and clinicians should provide patients with descriptions of alternatives for tests and treatments, as well as the pros and cons for each.

5. Executives and clinicians should also provide patients with information about their planned tests and treatments using terminology they can understand.

6. Providing both patients and clinicians with organized support when they are involved in accidents is also important for executives.

7. Clinicians should create processes to address threats to accountability such as disruptive behavior, substandard performance, violation of safe practices and inadequate oversight of colleagues' performance.

8. Among organizations, executives and boards should establish mechanisms to adopt best safety practices from one another and participate in collaboratives to accelerate improvement.

9. To improve transparency with the public, regulators and payers should ensure all healthcare entities have core competencies to accurately and understandably communicate their performance.

10. Regulators and payers should also be sure healthcare organizations publicly display the measures they use for monitoring quality and safety via dashboards, organizational report cards or some other tool.

For more recommendations and tips on how to promote transparency to improve patient safety, read the full report here.



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