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Health Care Reform 2009: What about Patient Safety?

May 24th, 2009

We have been given health care delivery which is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. No one has suggested that we must save two hundred thousand lives per year. After screaming to the roof tops I would hope someone hears my cry. Subsequently, Majority of the preventable deaths occur in world renoun hospitals.

President Obama and his Congress has not taken any actions to stop letting the hospital industry remain self operated as patient safety is concerned, Attention must be drawn to this matter. Leads us to think what are the hospital executives, i.e. C.E.O’s, C.N.O.’s and their boards of directors plan to do to minimize accidental death and catastrophic injuries? It is evident that they are doing a lot but nothing is being accomplished.

Resulting from the revelation in 1999 by the Institute of Medicine of the pandemic of medical and nursing neglectfullness, most hospitals came up with a new job entitled “Patient Safety Officer”. Majority hire individuals like myself on staff and some are used as outside consultants. Hence we take a more microscopic look by reviewing a typical job description.

“The Patient Safety Specialist is responsible for managing, organizing, creating, planning, and evaluating a complex medical center patient safety program.¬†

  1. Developing and orchestrate internal review systems to mak sure that clinical and administrative patient safety events are in agreement with agency and accrediting standards and regulatory requirements;

Firstly, If we look from a hospital management perspective patient safety is difficult and bulky with both clinical and administrative aspects. Overlaps and conflicts with the system regulation becomes confusing. The internal review systems is intriguing because while charts are being reviewed , patients are developing sores , falling out of their beds and being neglected by staff.

Secondly, the training and utilization of “Root Cause Analysis, Healthcare Failure Mode and Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals & Effects Analysis” isn’t functional either. The reality is that management and staff have to learn how to operate in a new paradigm like “No tolerance for patient falls, and Bed infections”. They need to avoid using words like “Unfortunate but unavoidable” because it is a silly tool for avoiding accountability. Patients dieing accidentally is the result of accepting certainactivities that should never happen in the result of being unavoidable.

Thirdly, the best way to guarantee that the disturbing events that cause injury and death will keep happening repeatedly is the job description of “reporting trend analysis and tracking to ensure follow-up for the facility’s patient safety program activities. This is another way of saying, “Take notes, tell your manager what’s going on, don’t rock the boat and make it all splify to fool the public that were doing something about patient safety. If there is any negative feedback, call it ‘unfortunate but unavoidable’.”

In conclusion, All of the extravagant work mentioned earlier is nonsence because their is a higher risk of death from just walking into the hospital than from the diseases or mentally attention that they want to treat. According the last HealthGrades report published in July 2004, "1 of every 500 people admitted to any hospital in America are being accidentally killed". Therefore, in the hot debated topic of health care reform, with major legislation that is suppose to reduce health care spending, without serious consideration as to the patients safety and home nurses taking the place of the hospital health care institutions may need signs on their door saying, “ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK”.


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