Joint Commission Creates International Center For Patient Safety, Appoints Chief Patient Safety Officer


OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and Joint Commission Resources (JCR) have announced plans to establish the Joint Commission International Center for Patient Safety and the appointment of Peter B. Angood, MD, as chief patient safety officer and co-leader of this major new undertaking. 


The launching of the center marks the 10-year anniversary of an intense Joint Commission effort to improve patient safety through a wide array of initiatives. Beyond the progressive elaboration of patient safety standards, the Joint Commission has amassed a unique database of more than 3,000 sentinel events and the results of related root cause analyses. The latter information has served as the principal basis for the Joint Commission's widely recognized Sentinel Event Alerts and the more recent development and annual issuance of National Patient Safety Goals. In addition, the Joint Commission has developed a soon-to-be-published patient safety taxonomy that is currently progressing through the National Quality Forum's consensus development process, and is also being considered by the World Health Organization as the potential platform for creation of an international taxonomy for patient safety.  Further, through its award-winning Speak Up Campaign, the Joint Commission has encouraged patients to take an active role in preventing medical errors and adverse events. Speak Up initiatives have thus far addressed avoidance of medication errors, prevention of wrong-site surgery, and protection of living organ donors, among other subjects.


"We feel that much progress has been made in improving patient safety over the past decade, but we are far closer to the beginning of the journey than we are to the end," says Dennis S. O'Leary, MD, president of the Joint Commission. "If our efforts are being recognized, that simply means that we must do much more."


"In establishing the new Center for Patient Safety, the Joint Commission and Joint Commission Resources are re-committing themselves to achieving major improvements in patient safety," says Karen H. Timmons, CEO of Joint Commission Resources.  "The primary role of JCR will be to serve as the knowledge disseminator in all areas of patient safety, both nationally and internationally."


The center's initial efforts will focus on the identification, gathering, analysis, and dissemination of patient safety solutions, both in this country and abroad, and upon the creation of organization cultures of safety which embrace continuous attention to safety-focused, systems improvement efforts. These are seen as the most significant near-term opportunities for achieving major advancements in patient safety.


The new Center for Patient Safety plans to launch its Website in early April. Meanwhile, a high-level international advisory group is being constituted.  Regional advisory groups in strategic locations around the world will complement this effort.


In his role as chief patient safety officer, Angood will work with the center's other two principals, Richard Croteau, M, and Laura Botwinick, and will work with critical resource groups across the Joint Commission and JCR to integrate existing patient safety initiatives and products, and begin to develop a database of patient safety solutions. Croteau is executive director for strategic initiatives at the Joint Commission and was the creator of its Sentinel Event Database. Botwinick is currently on leave from the Joint Commission as a George W. Merck Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and will return to JCR as a vice president early this coming summer. Angood will also hold a vice president title at the Joint Commission.


A native of Canada and its health system, Angood brings a rich background of experience to the Joint Commission. He received his medical degree from the University of Manitoba in Canada and completed his training in general surgery, trauma and critical care at McGill and at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. After initially practicing medicine in Montreal, Angood was recruited to the University of Pennsylvania and subsequently held surgery faculty and hospital management positions at Yale University and at Washington University of St. Louis. He was most recently at the University of Massachusetts Medical School as professor of surgery, anesthesia, and emergency medicine.


Angood is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and has held various positions within the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the American College of Critical Care Medicine, the American Telemedicine Association, the American College of Medical Quality, and the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. He is the author of approximately 100 peer-reviewed articles, abstracts, editorials, and book chapters. His research has addressed telemedicine technologies, medical education, injury prevention, outcomes management, and resource utilization. Angood is currently president of the 13,000-member Society of Critical Care Medicine and will continue in that role through the conclusion of his term.


Source: Joint Commission

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