Tuesday, April 12, 2011

HHS Partnership for Patients Initiative

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced their commitment to use $1 billion in new funding from the Affordable Care Act to meet two important patient safety goals:
  1. Reduce preventable hospital injuries by 40% by 2013; and
  2. Cut preventable hospital readmissions by 20% by 2013.
Patient advocate Sorrel King introduced HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Donald M. Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who announced the Partnership for Patients Initiative which will unite providers, health systems, insurers, patients and advocates around the goal to reduce medical errors.

As Administrator Berwick said, we have the best trained and best equipped health workforce. The safety issues facing our health care system are indeed system-oriented. As we work to develop new processes and improved systems, we believe that nurses can and should be at the forefront of the discussion.

As recently articulated in the Institute of Medicine report on “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” nurses are integral to promoting health and preventing medical errors in hospitals, clinics and everywhere patients are treated. The recommendations in the report are a testament to the value of nurses in ensuring patient safety. The recommendations encourage interprofessional collaboration and patient-centered teams that incorporate the skills and talents of all health professionals.

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