Global Patient Safety Alerts Website Launches

Healthcare professionals from around the world will have access to the award-winning Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisories and educational toolkits through a new website that gives access to patient safety information based upon events happening in healthcare facilities.

Global Patient Safety Alerts, launched last week, is a publicly available website developed by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute in partnership with the World Health Organization that gives frontline healthcare providers and organizations around the world access to information on patient safety incidents, from causes to recommendations and solutions. The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority agreed to contribute its Advisory for others to learn from Pennsylvania's events.

"The contributions of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority are considerable and significant in the development of Global Patient Safety Alerts," says Hugh MacLeod, CEO of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute. "We are grateful for the Authority's early implementation and leadership."

The Authority publishes the Advisory for Pennsylvania healthcare facilities reporting through its Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System (PA-PSRS). The quarterly research journal is the primary way the Authority communicates with healthcare facilities about the significant trends identified in PA-PSRS reports.

The Advisory is widely distributed via email and is also available online at the Authority's website www.patientsafetyauthority.org. Since the first Advisory was issued in March 2004, the Authority has published nearly 350 articles on a variety of clinical issues. The Advisory was cited as a reason the Authority received the prestigious John M. Eisenberg award in 2006 from the National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Cheers Award in 2010 from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP).

"The Authority's Patient Safety Advisory has and will continue to be the compass our staff uses in forming educational programs, presentations and collaborations to take into Pennsylvania's healthcare facilities," says Mike Doering, executive director of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. "Healthcare facilities each year make hundreds of process changes based upon the information and guidance they receive from the Advisory."

"While we take into consideration all feedback we receive from Pennsylvania's healthcare facilities when forming our programs, the reports we receive from them remain our most valuable resource in helping them prevent future medical errors. I'm glad this website allows more healthcare staff to learn from events that are happening not just in Pennsylvania, but around the world," Doering adds.

In a recent annual survey, Patient Safety Officers in Pennsylvania's acute care facilities and Infection Prevention Designees from Pennsylvania's nursing homes gave the Advisory high marks on usefulness (97.6 percent), relevance (98.1 percent), readability (99.5 percent), scientific quality (99.7 percent) and educational value (98.4 percent) among those responding.

The Authority distributes the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory to 5,017 program affiliates. About 96 percent of the Advisory subscribers are U.S. based and 4percent are from 29 other countries.

All information contributed from healthcare organizations is expected to be fully loaded on the Global Patient Safety Alerts website by June 30, 2011. To visit the site, go to: www.globalpatientsafetyalerts.com.

Along with viewing the new global website, healthcare professionals can also sign up to receive the Advisory free of charge directly from the Authority via email at: www.patientsafetyauthority.org.

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority is an independent state agency established under Act 13 of 2002, the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error "MCare" Act. It is charged with taking steps to reduce and eliminate medical errors through data collection, identifying problems and recommending solutions that promote patient safety in hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, birthing centers and certain abortion providers. In June 2009, the Authority began collecting infection reports from nursing homes. The Authority's role is non-regulatory and non-punitive.

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) is a non-profit organization that raises awareness and facilitates implementation of ideas and best practices to improve patient safety. It is funded by Health Canada. To learn more about CPSI, visit: www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca.

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