Life Science Compliance Update

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August 02, 2013

Checklist to Improve Patient Safety

The newly released "Checklists to Improve Patient Safety" focuses on 10 quality improvement areas targeted by the federal government's hospital engagement networks (HEN), Hospitals & Health Networks Daily reported. A video about the checklists can be found here.

In December 2011, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services awarded $218 million to 26 hospital organizations to operate HENs and share best practices and lessons learned as they implement various strategies.

The Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET), which developed 10 new checklists, runs the largest HEN that includes about 1,500 hospitals and 31 state hospital associations The checklists aim to prevent:

  • Adverse drug events
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • Central line-associated blood stream infections
  • Early elective deliveries
  • Injuries from falls and immobility
  • Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers
  • Preventable readmissions
  • Surgical site infections
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonias and ventilator-associated events
  • Venous thromboembolisms

The checklists identify the top 10 evidence-based interventions hospitals can implement. In addition, the checklists provide tools, detailed steps, and process maps for implementing the best practices.

Checklists continue to gain popularity throughout the industry. A 2010 survey found 88.8 percent of hospital quality leaders use checklists to prevent operating room errors. Moreover, preoperative checklists and anesthesia checklists were among 10 patient safety strategies hospitals are "strongly encouraged" to adopt, according to May research headed by RAND Corporation.

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