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Evidence suggests that preventable harm in healthcare is a leading cause of death and morbidity in the United States. As a reflection of the AAMI Foundation’s commitment to advancing patient safety, it has become one of the early endorsers of the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF)'s campaign to address preventable harm in healthcare. The NPSF’s Call to Action proposes a public health approach to guide collective improvement efforts. It calls on healthcare leaders and policymakers to initiate a coordinated response to drive the work needed to ensure that patients and caregivers are free from preventable harm.
“Preventable events such as infusion errors, deaths and injuries due to opioid-induced respiratory depression, and those attributable to poor alarm management should be ‘never events’ in our hospitals,” said Marilyn Neder Flack, AAMI’s senior vice president of patient safety initiatives and executive director of the AAMI Foundation. “The AAMI Foundation is proud to partner with the National Patient Safety Foundation on this and its other initiatives. Working together, we can continue to improve patient outcomes.”
The AAMI Foundation serves the public welfare and improves patient safety by supporting the safe adoption and safe use of healthcare technology, and by recognizing the professionals who work in this realm. It does this through its national patient safety initiatives, the distribution of scholarships to students, a grant program, and awards for excellence. The call to action sets forth six broad categories of recommendations beginning with the need for a national steering committee and a national action plan for the prevention of healthcare-associated harm. It also recommends expanding or developing education, training, and resources for the healthcare workforce.
“We believe that in order to make meaningful and sustained improvement in patient safety, we need to think about it as a serious public health concern, no less than obesity, cancer, or motor vehicle crashes,” said Tejal K. Gandhi, NPSF’s president and chief executive officer. “The call to action outlines a coordinated, multipronged, ongoing approach to systematically monitor, measure, and improve patient safety across the continuum of care through partnerships and collaboration among policy makers, healthcare leaders, professional associations, and others.”