Monday, July 13, 2009

Northwest Indiana Hospitals Form Patient Safety Coalition

Hospitals in Lake and Porter counties in Indiana have formed a coalition designed to improve patient safety and care quality, the Northwest Times reports. Modeled after similar programs in the Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Michiana areas, the new Northwest Indiana Patient Safety Coalition includes Community Healthcare System, The Methodist Hospitals, Porter Health and the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services. Under the coalition, participating hospitals must designate a team of safety leaders that includes the chief nursing executive, chief medical officer and leaders of patient safety and quality committees, who will be required to attend monthly meetings. At these meetings, the teams will identify and prioritize safety practices to be used across the board in all hospitals. Already, the teams have identified a series of priorities, including standardizing surgical instruments and sponge-count policies, policies to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections, a patient education campaign focused on medication lists, efforts to standardize emergency codes, and establishing guidelines for care while patients are in emergency rooms waiting for a permanent bed assignment. Noting that "patient safety has to happen on the front lines of care," the director of the Indiana Patient Safety Center notes that the coalition will serve as an opportunity for participating hospitals to "have a dialog and improve the possibility of improving care in the communities." (Franklin, Northwest Times, 7/6/09)

Copyright 2009 The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, N.J., is the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care.

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