4 main priorities for IHI's patient safety group

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement's newly-formed National Steering Committee for Patient Safety aims to create a national strategy to improve patient safety.  

The committee includes 24 organizations with backgrounds in healthcare, policy, regulation and advocacy. Member organizations include The Joint Commission, the National Quality Forum, the American Hospital Association and the FDA.

Here are four patient safety areas the committee seeks to prioritize:

1. Culture and leadership. Leadership is essential to safety culture. A strong culture of safety is required to achieve sustainable safety initiatives in healthcare systems. 

2. Patient and family engagement. Evidence suggests embracing patients and family members as active member of the care team improves quality and safety. 

3. Workforce safety. IHI believes physical and psychological safety within the workforce serves as precursor to patient safety. 

4. Learning systems. Patient safety is most optimal when organizations have learning systems in place to further share and spread information, contributing to a culture that continuously learns to better patient care.

"[W]e've been working on safety for 20 years," said Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, IHI's chief clinical and safety officer. "Yes, there have been significant advances, but we need to make sure people know that the burning platform of patient safety has not been extinguished — it’s still burning."

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