By Pat Muccigrosso, contributor for Nursing News on NurseZone.com
Patient safety is not a new topic. It has been making headlines and driving practice reviews and changes for nurses for years. It has also been the object of intense research and study by organizations like the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Every year since 2003, AHRQ has released a report on health care quality which tracks several measures, including patient safety. Although progress has been made overall, findings released in their most recent report revealed that, "...reporting of hospital quality is leading improvement but patient safety is lagging."
Other organizations like the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) have mounted a concerted effort to raise awareness of safety initiatives and provide resources for hospitals and health care providers to use, such as Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 7-13, 2010. But for Pam A. Thompson, the focus of a lot of these efforts is on nurses -- the women and men doing battle on the front lines at hospitals across the country.
Thompson, MS, RN CENL, FAAN, is chief executive officer of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), a national professional organization which has been providing leadership, advocacy and research to advance nursing practice and patient care since 1967. She believes patient safety starts with nurses.
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